The Conservancy is involved in a range of nature conservation initiatives in the region:
The Mareeba Tropical Savanna and Wetland Reserve was established by the Conservancy in 1995. The 2,000 hectare Reserve is managed as a model of non-government community led nature conservation, attracting national and international accolades.
Visitors can enjoy several kilometres of self guided walking trails, boat tours, the Twilight Reserve Safari and can stay overnight in Jabiru Camp, the Conservancy’s tented safari camp in the heart of the Reserve. The Reserve offers visitors fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities, with a current bird species list of 206, as well as bush walking and photography. Refreshments are available at the Visitor Centre, situated on the shores of Clancy’s Lagoon.
Conservancy members enjoy free access to the Reserve as well as priority bookings for accommodation and discounts on tours and merchandise, as well as a series of members’ events throughout the year.
Volunteers from all over the world help on the Reserve, in the Visitor Centre and with ongoing conservation projects, such as the award-winning Gouldian finch reintroduction programme; buff-breasted button quail, black-throated finch and Northern quoll monitoring, and a freshwater crocodile reintroduction project. A key management aim is to promote native grasses essential to the survival of tropical granivorous birds, such as one of the Reserve’s specialties, the critically endangered buff-breasted button quail.
The Reserve is located on the high altitude Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland, but extends its monitoring work into the surrounding region, wherever possible. The Conservancy has a voluntary warden programme at Mareeba, with volunteers recruited on a 4-6 month basis and based in the extremely comfortable ‘Quoll Cottage’ in the heart of the Reserve, completed in 2010 and overlooking Clancy’s Lagoon.
The Kamerunga Rainforest Reserve is a new Conservancy initiative and is in the process of development. Situated only 10 km as the crow flies from Cairns CBD, yet directly abutting the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area the total area of the Reserve is a 104ha and it also borders the Barron Falls National Park.
The Reserve contains a range of habitats in varying condition and it is planned to rehabilitate the majority to native rainforest through a combination of new planting and natural regeneration. It is planned to develop the lower part (around 10 hectares) of the site, abutting the Kamerunga-Brinsmead Road and Stoney Creek Road, as a tropical wildlife research and rehabilitation facility to manage the care and rehabilitation of native animals and birds.
In addition to specialised facilities for veterinary research, the focus of Centre will also encompass environmental, educational and conservation activities to provide opportunities for interpretation of habitat and wildlife rehabilitation. Disturbed areas around the Centre will be progressively restored to wetland, grassland and rainforest, providing a range of habitats open to public access. Participatory conservation-related activities, including guided and interpretive walks and canopy exploration will assist with ongoing income generation.