Camera Traps – May 2022 accrued 76-cassowaries, 4-dingoes and 41-feral pigs. Against the cumulative monthly average, cassowary numbers dropped by 22%, whilst dingoes fell by 85% and feral-pigs also dropped by 65%. Against May 2021, cassowaries were 36%-up, dingo numbers fell by 86% and feral-pig numbers also dropped by 51%.
The Daintree Rainforest Community is mourning the passing of one its most diligent and talented custodians. Cheryll Williams died in her home on Friday 20 May 2022.
Cheryll and partner Tony have cared for injured animals in their Daintree Wildlife Refuge for ten-years. They have specialised in caring for injured fruit bats; Spectacled Flying Foxes being their principal patients and their house has been constructed to give the convalescing fruit bats a feeling for the rainforest, which seems to merge into the special purpose ward. This allows the flying mammals space to test their wings, without predation and to be well-treated in familiar leafy surrounds.
Cheryll Williams was a qualified acupuncturist and medical herbalist who has written five books on herbal plants, used as medicines and foods. Her most recent book, “Phytochemistry of Australia’s Tropical Rainforest” Medical Potential of Ancient Plants, was published in 2021, with critical acclaim…The approx. 550 pages of PATR‘s main text are well-written and profusely illustrated – with almost all images in colour and with informative legends (which is always nice to see). With at least 3600 references(!!) (which are cited in-text by numbers), it is clearly a work of great scholarship. But, not only that, it also appears to be a true labour of love that is thoughtfully-written and probably as up-to-date, as it’s 2021 publication date mentions Australia’s devastating bush fires of 2020. Mindful of the cultural heritage associated with the Australian flora and its extensive and ancient use by the indigenous peoples of that land, there is an important cultural sensitivity warning at the front of the book. This is particularly apt in relation to some of the wording in the quoted text regarding Bunya pine feasts. Many instances are cited in PATR where modern science has vindicated traditional uses of rainforest plant remedies, further emphasising the untapped potential of these plants (and the wisdom of the Ancients).
Daintree Rainforest P/L has contributed rainforest images to these books. This is acknowledged in Phytochemistry of Australia’s Tropical Rainforest by Cheryll Williams and it reflects the co-operation that exists within the rainforest community.
On the day of Cheryll’s death, Friday 20 May 2022, the rainforest released two new cassowary chicks. They have been named Cheryll and Tony. The father is Crinkle Cut and mother is Big Bertha. The father will care for the chicks while the mother will continue to produce more chicks with several male cassowaries. The continuum of life and death is marked with losses that will long be remembered and cherished and births that will be celebrated and included.
We offer our heart felt condolences to Tony and to Cheryll’s family. She will be greatly missed. May she rest in Peace.
Scratch and his three eleven-month-old chicks, George, John & Grant.
Taiga and his two surviving yearling-old chicks, Sharon & Steve.
With the full replacement of new camera traps, I have rationalised their sequencing so that some clips taken earlier in the month have different camera numbers toward the end. With time, this new sequencing should become familiar.
Daintree Rainforest Foundation Ltd has been registered by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and successfully entered onto the Register of Environmental Organisations. Donations made to the Daintree Rainforest Fund support the Daintree Rainforest community custodianship and are eligible for a tax deduction under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.