Skyrail Rainforest Cableway facilitates climate change study

Skyrail News: July 2008

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is facilitating a major climate change study in the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area.

The study, being undertaken by James Cook University (JCU), will investigate any correlation between climate change and the flowering and fruiting patterns of rainforest plants.

JCU Senior Lecturer Dr Mike Liddell said this was an exciting new endeavour, unique in its methodology.

"The project will describe the flowering and fruiting phenology in a tropical rainforest environment of North Queensland and will aim to determine correlations with variations in local climatology," Dr Liddell said.

"Skyrail Rainforest Cableway provides us with a unique opportunity to monitor the rainforest canopy from above on a regular basis," he said.

Skyrail General Manager Max Shepherd said Skyrail was pleased to facilitate the research and contribute its own data to the study.

"Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is committed to the preservation and presentation of the Wet Tropics Rainforests, we are very pleased to facilitate this invaluable JCU research by providing access to the cableway as a research tool, and also by submitting our own data to the study," Mr Shepherd said.

"Skyrail's Environment Department has been recording the flowering and fruiting patterns in the Barron Gorge National Park since opening in 1995; we are now making this information available to JCU," he said.

Dr Liddell said: "Skyrail's extensive phenology data will prove invaluable to the study, which is expected to run for a minimum of ten years."

"By combining Skyrail's research with our own recordings, we will have over two decades of material to analyse, which will make this one of Australia's longest running phenology studies."

"In our study, we will be taking photographs of the canopy along the Skyrail cableway on a regular basis, with a wide angle, high resolution digital SLR camera and GPS."

For more information, please contact Skyrail's Communications Manager on email email/julie.johnston)(

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