Did you know the only frog you are likely to hear in the Wet Tropics rainforest is the male because it has an inflatable vocal sac beneath its lower jaw?
James Cook University tourism researcher Dr Julie Carmody has uncovered a wealth of interesting facts and figures for a new handbook for tour guides, released by the University and the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre.
The Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area Tour Guide Handbook covers 27 sites in the Wet Tropics, including many outside the Daintree and Cape Tribulation area.
Dr Carmody said the handbook was initiated by the Wet Tropics Management Authority to assist tour guides in delivering quality interpretative information consistently across the Wet Tropics.
“The Wet Tropics is a much larger area than the tourism hotspots of the Daintree and Cape Tribulation and there is an enormous amount of information specific to each site which has never been collated into one guide before,” she said.
“This handbook will help tour guides understand one of the most significant ecosystems on earth and give them some interesting facts to share with visitors.
“It includes Aboriginal and European history, flora, fauna and geology, plus there are sections on ecotourism, evolution, world heritage listing of the Wet Tropics, rainforest characteristics, hints for tour guides, safety in the rainforest, feral animals and plants.
“It is in a ring binder format so new information can be added to it and 100 copies will be distributed free of charge to tour operators or it can be downloaded from the internet.”
Numerous stakeholders were consulted to pull the handbook together including the traditional owners, scientists, Wet Tropics Management Authority staff, Department of Environment and Resource Management staff, tour operators and their guides, Footloose Publications, Visitor Information Centre volunteers and staff, historical museum staff and staff at the Australian Tropical Herbarium.
Funded by the Australian Government’s Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility, the handbook is available for download from http://www.rrrc.org.au/publications/downloads/Carmody-J-2011-Wet-Tropics-Tour-Guide-Handbook.pdf
Issued August 19, 2011
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