Wet Tropics of Queensland

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The Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Site consists of approximately 8,940 km² of Australian wet tropical forests growing along the north-east Queensland portion of the Great Dividing Range. The Wet Tropics of Queensland meets all four of the criteria for natural heritage for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia
Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia

The Wet Tropics of Queensland, or Wet Tropics, stretches along the northeast coast of Australia for some 450 kilometres. Encompassing some 894,420 hectares of mostly tropical rainforest, this stunningly beautiful area is extremely important for its rich and unique biodiversity. It also presents an unparalleled record of the ecological and evolutionary processes that shaped the flora and fauna of Australia, containing the relicts of the great Gondwanan forest that covered Australia and part of Antarctica 50 to 100 million years ago.

Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia
Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia

All of Australia's unique marsupials and most of its other animals originated in rainforest ecosystems, and their closest surviving relatives occur in the Wet Tropics. These living relicts of the Gondwanan era and their subsequent diversification provide unique insights to the process of evolution in general. They also provide important information for the interpretation of fossils of plants and animals found elsewhere in Australia, and about the evolution of Australia's sclerophyll flora and marsupial fauna in particular.

Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia
Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia

The property supports tropical rainforests at their latitudinal and climatic limits, and unlike most other seasonal tropical evergreen equatorial forests, is subject to a dry season and to frequent cyclonic events. Many of the distinct features of the Wet Tropics relate to its extremely high but seasonal rainfall, diverse terrain and steep environmental gradients.

Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia
Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia

The Wet Tropics of Queensland stretches in part from Townsville to Cooktown, running in close parallel to the Great Barrier Reef (another World Heritage Site). A second section surrounds Mackay and a third is located between the Whitsunday Islands and Carmila. A small section at Warginburra Peninsula extends to the Normanby Range in Central Queensland.

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