The Cape Tribulation Tropical Research Station is a research and conservation organization that specialises in lowland tropical ecosystems, in particular those of the Daintree lowlands, and has been in operation for over 22 years.
The Research Station was established in 1988 by Hugh Spencer and Brigitta Flick in the wake of the Daintree Blockade (1984) which drew world attention to the plight of the area and to its highly vulnerable conservation status.
The Research Station was set up to provide a platform for researchers interested in studying ecosystems in the lowland Wet Tropics and is dedicated to conserving this very fragmented ecosystem. There are research facilities (including two laboratories and a workshop), accommodation, and access to unique forest and marine environments.
The Research Station is operated by the Australian Tropical Research Foundation (AUSTROP), an independent, non-profit organization, founded in 1992. The Station is funded through operation of the Bat House Interpretation Center, as well as through fees for volunteers, interns, students, and researchers. In addition, AUSTROP receives grants from various sources, as well as charitable donations.
The Station is also home to a resident flying fox colony (unreleasable animals), whose inhabitants do “ambattadorial” (ambassadorial) duties at the Bat House Visitor Center. In addition to greeting visitors, our bats serve as subjects for endless amusement, speculation, and the occasional psychological or behavioural study.