Australia – The Big Scrub rainforest region – A critically endangered ecosystem

The Big Scrub is the name of the remnant rainforest in the Byron Shire region of northern New South Wales. Before agricultural clearing it was the largest expanse of lowland subtropical rainforest in Australia, covering an area of approximately 75,000 hectares where an incredible array of species grew.   

Tragically European settlers cleared almost 99% of this magnificent rainforest. By 1900 all that remained were 33 pockets of now critically endangered rainforest with a combined area of less than 556 hectares. The Big Scrub may today be small, but it is home to a bountiful biodiversity, many species of which are incredibly rare and endangered. Our forestation partner in Australia ReForest Now has compiled data and research to identify 128 endangered species of this rainforest. They now grow over 150 species in their nursery and prioritise endangered and critically endangered tree, shrub, and vine species.  

In this project of ReForest Now, cleared land in this region is restored back into rainforest. Byron Shire relies on this rainforest for the rain, streams, creeks, and rivers and ReForest Now plays a pivotal part in restoring and protecting it for generations to come. There are currently 35 planting sites that are key to supporting the entire rainforest. Planting on these sites will connect fragmented rainforest and build wildlife corridors. 

Read more about this and other projects.