I have today
received a letter from an officer in the ATSI Lands Acts Branch of the
Department of Natural Resources in Cairns, informing me that as of 20th October
2000 the road from the Massey River to the Rocky River on Silver Plains
Station in Cape York will be permanently closed.
This closure of access
to the Rocky River and to the eastern McIlwraith Range with its diverse
mix of gallery rainforest and tropical woodland, is a very sad day for anyone
interested in the birds, mammals and reptiles of Cape York, as the area is home
to many interesting and rare birds, mammals and reptiles.
list of the of the birds found here includes, Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked
Parrot, Marbled Frogmouth, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Tropical Scrubwren,
Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Green-backed Honeyeater, White-streaked Honeyeater,
Northern Scrub-robin, Black-winged Monarch, White-eared Monarch, Magnificent
Riflebird, Trumpet Manucode, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird and White-faced
A short list of
the mammals would include Bare-backed Fruit-bat, Eastern or Queensland
Tube-nosed Bat, Black-footed Tree-rat, Common Spotted Cuscus, Southern Common
Cuscus, Striped Possum, and the Fawn Leaf-nosed Bat.
The list or reptiles and
amphibians would include the Amethystine Python and Northern Tree Snake,
as well as the Growling Frog, White-lipped Tree-frog, Striped Rocket Frog,
Shrill Chirper and the Wood Frog.
I am unaware of the reasons
for the closure of this road, however I know representations were made by
many people with an interest in the birds of this area for this road to stay
open, as the 700,000 acre property is owned by the Queensland
I have been to this area on 18 separate visits to Cape York.
John McLennan Woy Woy