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Mossman Gorge, Queensland facts for kids

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Mossman Gorge
Dysoxylum pettigrewianum
Spurwood, Dysoxylum pettigrewianum at Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge is located in the southern part of Daintree National Park in Far North Queensland, Australia, 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of the regional town of Cairns and about five kilometres from the cane-farming town of Mossman. It is part of the traditional homeland of the indigenous Kuku Yalanji people. A suspension bridge runs across Rex Creek close to where it enters the Mossman River, linking the carpark area to a 2.4-kilometre rainforest loop track walk.

Mossman Gorge was declared a part of Daintree National Park in 1967.

Fauna

Fauna commonly observed in the gorge includes the Australian brushturkey, orange-footed scrubfowl, the brilliant metallic-blue Ulysses butterfly and the Boyd's forest dragon. More than 430 species of birds have been spotted in the gorge, along with 18 species of reptiles, 12 species of amphibians and several species of fishes. Seasonally, the buff-breasted paradise kingfisher visits, nests and breeds. Jungle perch or spotted flagtail fish are commonly observed in the river waters from the popular tourist spot at the river’s edge.

Flora

More than five hundred different species of Australian native plants grow in the lowland tropical rainforests in the gorge area, including a wide diversity of species of trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes and ferns. Some species abundant along the public walking tracks, often noticed and photographed by tourists, are as follows. The bright orange seasonally fruiting, small shrubs of chain fruits Alyxia ruscifolia and hairy red pittosporum Pittosporum rubiginosum occur commonly along the tracks. Many vine species grow up to the canopy, including the well known and conspicuous wait-a-while or rattan palm–vines Calamus australis and more related spp.. Many epiphytes grow on the trees’ branches and trunks, including the often noticed ferns, the birds–nest ferns Asplenium australasicum, basket ferns Drynaria rigidula and elkhorn ferns Platycerium hillii; large epiphyte and hemiepiphyte trees and shrubs, including commonly the many strangler figs Ficus spp., umbrella trees Schefflera actinophylla and the cape jitta Fagraea berteroana. Locally abundant and conspicuous large trees include the Daintree penda Lindsayomyrtus racemoides with wet season purple new foliage growth, abundant cauliflorous trees that have flowers and fruits on the trunk, for example, the cluster figs species Ficus spp. and the yellow mahogany trees Dysoxylum parasiticum. Further locally abundant species of trees include the Australian native nutmeg trees Myristica globosa, the several lady apples or lilly pillies species Syzygium spp. and lining the Mossman River and the creeks’ banks the golden penda trees Xanthostemon chrysanthus.

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