Cassowary capture, tagging and tracking

Attachment of a GPS data logger

Attachment of a GPS data logger

The Australian Veterinary Journal has published a paper on successful methods for cassowary immobilisation, restraint, transport and satellite tracking. The paper outlines the use of anaesthetics for safe handling of adult and juvenile cassowaries taken into captivity and released back into the wild.

The paper also details safe ways to transport cassowaries and to attach satellite trackers to monitor their movements after release back into their natural environment. Monitoring indicates that the released cassowaries suffered no behavioural ill-effects from the chemical immobilisation, restraint or transport.

 The cross marks the spot for needle entry for the anaesthetic.

The cross marks the spot for needle entry for the anaesthetic.

This is one of the first studies to use satellite telemetry to monitor the movements of a free-ranging large ratite. Future monitoring of released cassowaries can help to tell us a lot about their movements and behaviour. Longer term satellite studies are required to assess if the birds successfully locate and establish a home range and develop into breeding adults.

The authors of the study are Hamish Campbell (UNE), Ross Dwyer (UQ), Scott Sullivan (QPWS), Dan Mead (QPWS) and Graham Lauridsen (Tropical Vet Services, Tully).

 

You can download a copy of the paper below:

Chemical immobilisation and satellite tagging of free-living southern cassowaries

 

 

Cassowaries get their kicks on Lot 66

Opening of Lot 66 Mission Beach (photo Jeff Larson)

Peter Trott, Hon Peter Garrett MP, Leonard Andy, Peter Rowles and Dr Helen Larson celebrate the purchase of Lot 66 (photo Jeff Larson).

Thanks to the efforts on local conservationists at Mission Beach, cassowaries can now enjoy wandering through a 25ha block near Wongaling Beach safe in the knowledge that it is protected as a part of a local wildlife corridor.

The Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation (C4) and the Queensland Trust for Nature (QTFN) have worked together to purchase the property known as Lot 66, a popular area of  cassowary  habitat. Together with the adjacent Lot 802 which the local council has designated a wildlife corridor to be managed by the the Djiru Warangburra Aboriginal Corporation, Lot 66 forms part of an important wildlife corridor from the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area to the coast.

Lot 66 will be surveyed, its condition improved  and a suitable house site designated before it is resold as a Nature Refuge.

You can read all the details of how Lot 66 was purchased on the C4 webpage and in the link to the special bulletin about Lot 66.

Senator Peter Garrett at the opening of Lot 66 (photo Jeff Larson)

Hon Peter Garrett MP at the opening of Lot 66 (photo Jeff Larson)

 

How to identify a cassowary

CassowaryBeak2webCassowaryCasque2web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever wondered how to recognise individual cassowaries?

Do you know about different cassowary casques, wattles, skirts, beaks, necks and feet?

Can you identify chicks, juveniles and sub-adults?

Kuranda Conservation has put together a wonderful page full of pictures and hints to help you identify individual cassowaries.

The cassowary identification project aims to record all the cassowaries in the Kuranda region and to follow their movements and behaviour. This includes where they cross roads and where juveniles disperse.

All photos courtesy of Kuranda Conservation.

CassowarySkirtMalewebCassowaryWattle1web

 

Cassowaries in National Geographic

The September 2013 edition of National Geographic has a ‘Big Bird’ story about cassowaries in the Wet Tropics and lots of wonderful photos by Christian Ziegler. You can read the story and see photos and videos on the National Geographic website.

The Cassowary Recovery Team assisted with information and editing for the article and data for the map.

WTMACassHeadweb

Cassowaries and vehicles caught on camera

Kuranda Conservation recently received grant funds for motion-activated cameras to help identify the number of cassowaries in the Kuranda region.These are the first shots from cameras set up near Black Mountain Road which show a  cassowary about to cross the road (arrowed below). Also captured are the logging trucks which use the road. The drivers recognise the need for care and slow down at this known cassowary crossing, but it does highlight the danger from all vehicles for these birds.

To find out more, see the monitoring page on the Kuranda Conservation website.

To report any sightings of cassowaries in the Kuranda region, see the sightings page on the Kuranda Conservation website.

KCcrop3web KCcrop2web