The Australian Tropical Research Foundation (AUSTROP) is a research and conservation organization in Cape Tribulation, Australia, that specialises in lowland tropical ecosystems, in particular those of the Daintree lowlands. It has been in operation for over 27 years.
The Cape Tribulation Tropical Research Station (CTTRS) 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 the conservation of 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 AUSTROP Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1992. Prior to this it was run as the Cape Tribulation Field Study Centre. The Station is funded through the operation of the Bat House Interpretation Center, as well as through acconodation and bench fees for volunteers, interns, students, and researchers. Open all year round the Research Station hosts eager interns and volunteers from all walks of life. If you are interested head to Join Us.
In addition, AUSTROP receives grants from various sources, as well as charitable donations. Donate Here.
The Research 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.
A current primary focus of AUSTROP is the eradication of invasive plant species and weeds that have overrun areas of the rainforest and eliminated a considerable number of natives. Rehabilitation and revegetation are vital to the sustainability of this fragile ecosystem and constitute a large part of our conservation work.