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Banner Planting for Wildlife Syzygium cormiflorum djh.jpg


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Planting for wildlife Spectacled flying fox djh.JPG


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Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) is restricted to North Queensland's Wet Tropics upland rainforest. south from the Mt Carbine Tableland to Kirrama. 


If you live where tree kangaroos occur, please plant (or identify and protect Tree-kangaroo food plants). Tree Kangaroos eat rainforest leaves and some fruits.  Tree Kangaroo expert Margit Cianelli and her colleague Beth Stirn have kindly given TREAT this list of rainforest leaves popular with local Tree-kangaroos. Members can ask for advice on growing Tree-kangaroo food plants — contact QPWS Restoration Services.


The following list gives the scientific name, a common name and the part of the plant eaten by Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo — Leaf (L) or Flower (Fl) or Fruit (Fr).

Aceratium doggrellii Buff Carabeen L

Acronychia acidula Lemon Aspen L

Agathis microstachya Bull Kauri L

AIphitonia petriei Sarsaparilla L

Alstonia schoIaris Milky Pine L

Anthocarapa nitidula Incencewood L

Argyrodendron peralatum Red Tulip Oak L

Arytera divaricata Rose Tamarind L

Austrosteenisia stipularis Blood Vine L

Balanops australiana Pimply Ash L

Castanospermum australe Black Bean L

Castanospora alphandii Brown Tamarind L

Cerbera inflata Cassowary Plum L

Chionanthus ramiflorus Northern Olive L

Cryptocarya hypospodia Northern Laurel L, Fl.

Cryptocarya mackinnoniana Rusty Laurel L

Cryptocarya triplinervis Brown Laurel L

Cupaniopsis flagellliformis var. flagelliformis Brown Tuckeroo L. Fr.

Diploglottis diphyllostegia Native Tamarind L

Dysoxylum pettigrewianum Spurwood L

Elaeagnus triflora Milla Milla L

Elaeocarpus grandis Blue Quandong L. Fr.

Endiandra insignis Hairy Walnut L

Euroschinus falcatus Pink Poplar L

Ficus henneana Superb Fig L

Flagellaria indica Supplejack L

Flindersia acuminata Silver Silkwood L

Flindersia pimenteliana Maple Silkwood Fl.

Franciscodendron laurifolium Cabbage Crowsfoot L

Hippocratea barbata Knot Vine L

Hoya pottsii Hoya L

Hymenosporum flavum Native Frangapani L

Jagera pseudorhus var. integerrima Pink Tamarind L

Litsea leefeana Bollywood L

Maclura cochinchinensis Cockspur Thorn L

Maesa dependens L

Mallotus repandus L

Mischocarpus lachnocarpus Woolly Pear Fruit Fr

Myristica insipida Nutmeg L

Neisosperma poweri Milkbush L

Neolitsea dealbata Bollywood L, Fl

Olea paniculata Native Olive L

Oxera splendida Potato Vine L

Piper hederaceum Pepper Vine L

Pisonia aculeata Thorny Pisonia L

Planchonella myrsinodendron Yellow Boxwood L

Platycerium superbum Staghorn L

Polyscias elegans Celerwood L

Pothos longipes Pothos L, Fr.

Premna acuminata Vitex L

Prunus turneriana Almondbark L

Ripogonum album White Supplejack L

Sarcopteryx martyana L

Heptapleurum actinophyllum (syn. Schefflera actinophylla)  Umbrella Tree Fl.

Steganthera laxiflora Tetra Beech L

Symplocos cochinchinensis var. pilosiuscula White Hazelwood L

Syzygium cormiflorum Bumpy Satinash L

Trichosanthes sp (Mt Lewis BG167) Rainforest Gourd L

Xanthophyllum octandrum Macintyres Boxwood L

Xanthostemon chrysanthus Golden penda L

Also see the Tree Kangaroo and Mammal Group website that has a more complete Tree Kangaroo food plants list, and also food plants for the Possums, Flying Foxes, Gliders and Cassowaries.


By Olivia Whybird


When planting native trees, the end result is not just plants but an ecosystem, habitat that animals can use. This is important for many reasons, for example: 

  • Like plants, the animals of Australia's forests are special; and

  • Animals can be important in maintaining plant communities.

Why Bats?

Bats are important, as they are a very diverse group - 32 species occur in the wet tropics. In this area that makes them about as diverse as the marsupials. There are two distinct groups of bats, the 'Mega bats' (large) and the 'Micro bats' (small). The Mega bats eat fruit, nectar and leaves and roost in the branches and leaves of trees. They are known to us as Flying foxes and Blossom bats. The majority of Micro bats are insect eaters, but some (for example the Ghost Bat) eat small animals such as birds, frogs and rodents and others (such as the Large-footed Myotis) skim fish from the water's surface.


The Mega bats maintain plant communities by pollinating flowers. Some plants can only be pollinated by bats which means if they are absent from areas, no further generations of these plants can be born and they will die out. Bats also disperse seeds. Small seeds are dispersed in their droppings, and flying foxes will often carry fruit containing seeds in their mouths while flying. This will increase the diversity of plants in revegetation projects.

The Micro bats are very important predators of night insects, reducing the number of insects in an area therefore reducing the insect damage to plants and increasing human comfort. An overseas species has been recorded as eating twice its body weight a night. This is likely to be about the same for many Australian species. Although most bats in North Qld weigh only 4 to 13 grams. I'm sure you will agree that 8 to 26 grams of mosquitoes per bat is a lot less mosquitoes, and they don't have side effects like chemical repellents or use electricity like zappers.

How Can We Help - Planting

Bats can get caught on barbwire fences. This occurs when they are low to the ground. Entanglement of bats and other animals such as gliders can be reduced by replacing the top strand of the fence with plain wire. This is especially important around water bodies — dams and creeks — as bats come close to the ground to drink. Many bats also like to fly close to vegetation, so when they encounter a cleared paddock, they will fly close to the ground. This means that bats may be caught on fences in the open, particularly those that run across a slope, and are between patches of vegetation.

Like other animals some bats will not cross cleared land so vegetation corridors will benefit them greatly. Bats can also be sensitive to insecticides and other chemicals so beware of using spray on fruit — insects are not the only things affected.

We can plant trees with fruit and flowers that are eaten by Flying foxes — fleshy, juicy fruits such as large fruited Figs, Quandongs or Tarzali silkwood. They will of course also eat introduced fruit such as pawpaw and mango. Blossom bats eat very small fruits but specialise in flowers such as Syzygium (especially Bumpy satin ash) Climbing pandan (Freycinetia), Bottlebrush (Melaleuca) and will feed on the flowers of introduced bananas.

Bat Shelters

Bat shelters assist Micro bats to utilise an area and this is important in revegetation because the trees are young and do not contain hollows. These homes can be made in several ways:

  • Hollow branches/logs blocked off at one end

  • Holes drilled into bamboo sections

Any sort of weather proof box with a small entry and at least one wall that is rough enough for them to grip with their feet (use carpet or hessian hung inside). A deluxe house design can be found in Pat Comben's book on animal homes. Take car not to damage trees when hanging a box — protect the tree with rubber hose if using wire or use ladies’ stockings.

Replacing native forests is one of the best ways to assist bat conservation, and I have listed a few ideas on how to make those plantings ideal for both bats and other fruit or flower eating animals and those that roost in hollows.

Batty friendly planting


by Nigel Tucker

Whether you design your garden for frogs or birds, the basic requirements of all wildlife are:

  • Food and water —  of the right type and quality

  • Cover —  for nesting, resting and escape and

  • Minimising stress factors — for frogs in the domestic situation these are likely to be domestic cats and dogs, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides and problems areas such as the washing machine bowl.

Creating habitat

On a big scale (the macro view), habitat has three dimensions, it has height — comprised of all the layers (ground, mid-storey and canopy etc) which make up this vertical perspective, it has width, not only in size but also horizontal extension created by plants of different form and the use of vines to create a dense, tangled effect. Finally, the third dimension of time, and the way habitat changes over time as plants grow, die or are replaced. In summary, habitat has fatness.

On the micro-scale is niche — all the living and non living things that constitute (and dictate) the kind of immediate living space occupied by any organism.

So what is the kind of habitat our local frogs prefer and what are their niche requirements? The obvious includes, abundant moisture, cool damp and predator proof cover and an abundant supply of diet resources, especially insects. Rocks, logs and possibly leaf litter are important for the ground dwellers. However these places won't be colonised by anything more than cockroaches unless all the other habitat and niche components are present, and for that we need plants.

Choosing plants is important to ensure you achieve the very fashionable 3 dimensional look. The main point to remember is to plant many species of many life forms, the old diversity begets diversity axiom. A list of plants for a frog friendly north Queensland suburban garden may then include:

Vines: too often ignored and neglected, look after them, remember to prune well.

  • Hoya australis - common Hoya

  • Piper novo-hollandiae - the Pepper vines

  • P. banksii

  • Cayratia trifolia - Cayratia

  • Tecomanthe hillii - Fraser Island Vine

  • Lygodium microphyllum - Climbing maiden-hair fern

  • Oxera splendida - October surprise

  • Clematis glyciniodes - Forest Clematis

Most of the Cissus species are also suitable

Palms: too often people go over the top with palms but they do have their place

  • Archontophoenix alexandrae - Alexandra palm

  • Ptychosperma elegans - the Solitaire palms

  • P. macarthurii

  • Laccospadix australasica - Atherton Palms

  • Linospadix microcaryus - Walking stick palms

  • Linospadix minor

The palms are important for the attractiveness of their flowers to native flies and other pollination insects. Different insects consume the flowers at ground level.

Shrubs and Trees:

  • Melicope rubra - small Evodia

  • Syzygium australe - Creek Cherry

  • Acmena hemilampra - Blush Satinash

  • A. smithii - Lilli pilli

  • Eupomatia laurina - Native Guava

  • Ficus congesta - Water Fig


Zingibers, Aroids, Lilles:

  • Alpinia caerulea - Ginger

  • A. modesta

  • Crinum asiaticum - Crinum Lily

  • Alocasia brisbanensis - Cunjevoi


Many will cry "purist" at a list like this, arguing that many of the exotic (non-native) garden plants can fulfill the same requirements. This may be partly true but exotic plants are also many of our existing and potential weeds, threaten natural ecosystems and species as well as agricultural and food production systems, and the continued use of these plants reinforces people’s narrow perceptions that only exotic plants make nice garden subjects.


Don't go and chop out all your exotics immediately (but don't let me stop you) however a planned program of gradual removal and replacement will be appreciated by all wildlife, not just our wonderful frogs.

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