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Australia's Rainforests - Northern Territory

The Northern Territory is a place of extremes and 224,000 hectares of rainforest.

Rainfall varies from 1800mm annually on the Tiwi Islands to less than 100mm in the south east in the Simpson Desert. Temperatures can range from 40oC to -10oC, 90% of the annual rainfall usually occurs within the four month wet season.

  • Small areas of different habitats such as monsoon rainforest are embedded in vast areas of savannah.

  • In this dry landscape rainforest provides concentrations of fruit far greater than other habitats.

  • These attract many different species of birds and flying foxes that forage between rainforest patches, in turn dispersing seeds and pollinating flowers        

Climatic types of rainforest in the Northern Territory:

  • Dry
Threatened rainforest species in the Northern Territory:

  • Northern Quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus)

    • Legislative Status: IUCN: Lower Risk / Near Threatened, EPBC Act: Endangered, TPWC Act: Critically Endangered.

    • Occurs in northern Australia, but disappearing dramatically from lower rainfall areas, their range has been severely reduced. It is also under threat from the introduction of Cane Toads. It is the smallest, most arboreal and most aggressive of all the quoll species.
  • Golden- backed Tree-rat (Mesembriomys macrurus)

    • Legislative Status: IUCN: Vulnerable, EPBC Act: Vulnerable, TPWC Act: Critically Endangered.

    • Far northern parts in a variety of habitats but is declining from the drier areas.

    • Flowers fruits and termites are a major part of its diet and when near rainforest the majority of fruits are species common on rainforest edges.

  • Carpentarian Rock-rat (Zyzomys palatalis)

    • Legislative Status: IUCN: Critically Endangered. EPBC Act: Endangered, TPWC Act: Critically Endangered.

    • Known only from Wollogorang Station in the Gulf of Carpentaria hinterland.

    • It is restricted to sandstone gorges and escarpments containing a core of dry or wet rainforest vegetation, permanent water and surrounded by savanna woodlands.

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