What endangered animals live in the Daintree Rainforest?

What endangered animals live in the Daintree Rainforest?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/29/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

The Daintree Rainforest is one of Queensland’s most cherished sites, a wonderland covered with lush greenery and unique fauna.

Though it may be small relative to the massive size of Australia, the Daintree is incredibly rich in wildlife. Here you can find 35% of Australia’s frog population, 20% of all Australian bird species, and a whopping 65% of native bats and butterflies.

All up, the area is the most biologically diverse rainforest on the entire planet. Within the forest are several species endemic to this area. These endangered animals roam the skies, branches, and bushes of the Daintree. Keep reading to find out how you can see these creatures on your journey.

  • Musky-Rat Kangaroo

    This marsupial is found in the damp and lower areas of Daintree Rainforest. It has a bit of an odd appearance, looking somewhat like a cross between a rat and a kangaroo. Although this doesn’t sound the best, it actually is a very cute creature. Feeding on fruits and insects, the animal roams around the rainforest floor, nesting in the piles of fallen leaves. If you manage to see one, check out its feet! Their hind legs have five toes, a highly unusual marsupial mutation.

  • Northern Quoll

    This animal once covered a large portion of the country, however population decreases means they’re now only found in the higher regions of Australia. The introduction of cane toads to Australia poisoned much of the population when they tried to eat them. As an introduced species, quolls had not evolved to know their threat and suffered dearly. As their population is so low, it is quite rare to see them in the wile. That said, they are medium in size, similar to a possum. They have brown spotted fur and can be found roaming the grounds of the rainforest. If you see one be sure to remain quiet so as to not scare it from its hunting grounds.

  • Southern Cassowary

    Direct descendants to the ancient dinosaurs, the Southern Cassowary has a similar appearance to a giant turkey. With two long scaly legs, and a round feathered black body, its splash of colour comes from the bird’s neck and head. Striking blues and reds contrast beautifully with the rainforest’s green background. One of the most interesting features of the Cassowary is their large protruding horn on their forehead. The bird doesn’t only rely on the landscape to survive, but vice versa. They act as walking farmer and fertiliser combo. They swallow seeds whole, travel long distances, and then excrete the seeds.

  • Waterfall frog

    This endangered frog ranges from being a dull brown to a light olive colour, speckled with dark brown spots, with their belly being a pale cream colour. They are usually found nearby waterfalls, hanging out in fast-flowing streams, or nearby on boulders or trees. The frogs are a nocturnal species, usually engaging in eating, mating, and other activities when dusk sets. Their population began to decline in the 1990s, with majority of the uplands completely absent of them nowadays.

Related article: Daintree Wildlife Rescue Centre

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.