The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

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International botonist
visits Mary Cairncross park

by Sharyn  Rosewarne

Mary Cairncross Park played host to a couple of U.S. tourists on Sunday, however these guys were not your average sightseers.

Dr Peter Raven and his wife Pat are both botanists and Dr Raven just happens to be a world-renown expert on plant bio-diversity with a wicked sense of humour.  Dr Raven has been described by TIME Magazine as a ‘Hero for the Planet’ and is currently Professor of Botany at Washington University, St Louis, among many other accolades to his name.  Dr Raven received the ANZAS medal for his worldwide efforts in conservation this week in Sydney.

Guests of locals Max and Penny Whitten both entomologists), Mr and Mrs Raven were treated to a guided tour of Mary Cairncross by Greg Wightman, Nick Clancy (Caloundra City Council Land for Wildlife) and Spencer Shaw Mary Cairncross Management Committee).

Dr Raven and Mrs Raven witnessed first hand some of Australia’s unique rainforest in Maleny’s Cairncross Park and were not disappointed.  A paddymelon wallaby with a joey in its pouch made an appearance much to Pat’s delight and the distinctive call of the Eastern Whipbird had Peter intrigued. The plight of the local bird-wing butterfly and the current project by Mary Cairncross were brought to Peter’s attention. Concluding the walk, the Ravens enjoyed a morning tea of bush tucker provided Karen Shaw.

In his early research with environmentalist Paul Ehrlich, Dr Raven coined the term ‘Coevolution’, a word that defines the special relationship between plant and insect life. Dr Raven has had numerous trips to Australia.

On this visit he was a keynote speaker at the International Congress of Entomology at the Brisbane Convention Centre, followed by a trip to Canberra and a visit to Cairns, where he will spread his message about the importance of biodiversity and how much will survive the 21st century.

Dr Peter Raven explores the rainforest in Mary Cairncross Park.

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.