Skyrail Rainforest Foundation Cyclone Larry Project

In October 2006, the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation announced a $50,000 commitment towards funding several research initiatives, to be collectively known as the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation Cyclone Larry Project.

The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation funding for this project, helped to support ten (10) studies, with a specific focus on the impacts on flora and fauna, ecosystem recovery, revegetation, and ongoing management programs for Australia's Tropical Rainforests, following the impacts and effects of Severe Tropical Cyclone Larry.

The 10 studies were:

  1. Lowland Bird Communities in continuous and fragmented rainforest; impacts and recovery following Cyclone Larry.
  2. Assessment of cyclonic damage and (tree) community response using long term forest plots.
  3. Impacts of Cyclone Larry on reforested sites and forest fragments.
  4. Impacts of Cyclone Larry on Aboreal folivores (leaf-eating possums and tree-kangaroos).
  5. Trophic (nutritional / food chain) impact of a severe tropical cyclone on an endangered ecosystem [focusing on the Mabi forests on the Atherton Tablelands and the Green Ringtail Possum (Pseudochirops archeri)].
  6. Wet Tropics scale re-distribution of a threatened species in response to a major habitat disturbance: landscape ecology of the Spectacled Flying Fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) after Cyclone Larry.
  7. Evaluating the effectiveness of river and wetland rehabilitation works in relation to impacts of Tropical Cyclone Larry.
  8. Satellite remote sensing assessment of rainforest vegetation damage from Cyclone Larry and vegetation recovery monitoring.
  9. Impacts of Cyclone Larry on rainforest insects.
  10. An assessment of the impact of Cyclone Larry on the tourism industry with particular reference to the landscape.
    Research works were primarily undertaken by the Tropical Landscapes Joint Venture (TLJV), which is an alliance between the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and James Cook University (JCU).

In addition to the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation and TLJV, several other organisations were involved in the research and support of these projects. These organisations include the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF) and Far North Queensland Natural Resource Management Ltd.

The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation Cyclone Larry Project represents the first stage in long-term strategic research, which provides scientific input to government and industry with respect to immediate and long-term community development and natural resource management issues.

Project results have created real benefits for Australia's Tropical Rainforests, and other rainforests worldwide, through the sharing of knowledge and outcomes. Research is ongoing.