Threatened Ecological Communities

There are 3 nationally recognised threatened ecological communities in the Wet Tropics region.  Considerable community and stakeholder effort has been invested in managing and protecting these communities.  

Rainforest Decision Support Tool

The Rainforest Decision Support Tool was developed in collaboration with the Cassowary, Mabi Forest and Littoral Rainforest recovery teams to assist in prioritising areas to offer incentives to willing landholders interested in revegetation, weed management and/or habitat protection. Instructions for using the tool are included.

Threatened Species & Ecological Communities Story Map

Find out more about the Mahogany Glider, the Southern Cassowary, Mabi Rainforest, Littoral Rainforest and Broad-leafed Tea Tree Woodlands, including threats and management actions to protect these animals and communities in the Wet Tropics.

Threatened Species Story Map

National Landcare Program Phase 2

NLP Australian Government



The management and protection of threatened ecological communities is an Australian Government priority and is part of their Regional Land Partnerships program. Click on the link to find out more about the program, its priorities and outcomes.

What is an Ecological Community?

An ecological community is a naturally occurring group of native plants, animals and other organisms that interact in a specific habitat.   Their unique and distinctive biodiversity values are important in their own right, but they also provide vital habitat and ecosystem services.

While many people are aware of the iconic, high profile animals, like the Southern Cassowary or Mahogany Glider, which are under threat in the Wet Tropics, some of the threatened ecological communities may be less well known.

For an overview of the threatened ecological communities in the Wet Tropics, see the summaries below.  For more detail, the story map to the right has descriptions, interactive maps and management actions for some of the key threatened species and ecological communities in the Wet Tropics.

Mabi Forest (Complex Notophyll Vine Forest 5b)

Mabi Forest is a threatened ecological community found almost exclusively on the Atherton Tablelands.  It is listed as critically endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.  Only around 4% of the original extent of Mabi Forest remains, and this is mostly in small, isolated remnants of less than 5ha in size.

Did you know….

The name Mabi comes from the local Aboriginal word for the Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroo, which is one of the most common large mammals in this ecological community.

Broad Leaf Tea-tree (Melaleuca viridiflora) Woodlands in High Rainfall Coastal North Queensland

The Broad Leaf Tea-tree Woodlands ecological community is found mainly within 20km of the coast, from Mossman in the north to Yeppoon in the south.  Past clearing and disturbance from grazing and weed incursion has significantly reduced the extent and condition of this community and it is now listed as endangered.

Did you know….

Several carnivorous plant species can found in this ecological community and it is known to support at least 15 species of terrestrial orchids and even more tree orchids.

Littoral Rainforest and Coastal Vine Thickets of Eastern Australia

This critically endangered ecological community is found along the eastern coastline of Australia, occurring within 2km of the coast.  It provides an important buffer to coastal erosion and wind damage, however significant clearing and fragmentation has occurred for coastal development, agriculture and sand mining.

Did you know….

There are more than 500 species of plants which can be associated with this ecological community and it provides habitat for over 70 threatened plants and animals.