The Garners Beach Cassowary Recovery Facility now has three chicks in care. Two of these chicks came from South Mission Beach where they had been wandering alone without any father for several days. They were brought in to the Tully Veterinary Clinic for assessment where Dr Graham Lauridsen found them to be quite emaciated, but not actually suffering from any significant issues. They were they taken to Garners Beach where they have been raised and fed since November last year.
The third chick was found on Etty Bay road after being hit by a car. It was cared for by a wildlife ranger overnight and brought to the Tully Veterinary Clinic for assessment. Radiographs revealed a fracture in the spine. Thankfully, the fracture was low down in the spine and, after several days of attentive care, the chick was also placed into care at Garners Beach.
The three cassowary chicks are prospering and hanging out together. They have been weighed, microchipped and wormed. The chicks will stay at Garners Beach for the rest of the year and will be released back into the wild once they are big and strong enough to look after themselves. Researchers hope to track the chicks after their release using GPS technology to see where they move to and how they survive the vulnerable young adult phase of their lives.
Many thanks to Rainforest Rescue which continues to provide funding for the care of the cassowary chicks and operates the recovery facility under an agreement with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. Money raised through the Save the Cassowary campaign goes to help keep the recovery facility working.
The Mission Beach Cassowaries website and Facebook page offer a wealth of information about cassowaries. They collect daily information about local birds and their movements and behaviour. The site has over 900 members who can contribute stories, sightings and photos. Cassowary sightings and incidents are recorded and mapped to help us understand more about their behaviour and promote their conservation.
Mission Beach Cassowaries plays a major role in community education and participation in cassowary conservation. It also contributes to local government planning and campaigns to prevent further cassowary deaths from road accidents and dog attacks.
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.
Cassowary Sightings from the Cassowary Coast 1999-2012
For many years, CRT member C4 have been collecting sightings information about cassowaries through a daily log at their Visitor Centre in Mission Beach.
When local retiree, Jeff Larson (a self-confessed “mad stats” person), joined C4 in 2009, he generously volunteered his time to enter all the data into a spreadsheet for public viewing. Continue reading →
“Twelve months have now passed since Cyclone Yasi damaged large areas of cassowary habitat between Cardwell and Innisfail and at Mission Beach on 2 and 3 February 2011.
The forest is showing significant signs of recovery. Trees now contain significant re-growth, and flowering and fruit development continue to increase, highlighting the resilience of these forests. However, due to the significant damage to the forest caused by the cyclone, the supply of rainforest fruits is still at a low level.
Road mortality is the greatest cause of known cassowary deaths at Mission Beach. Between 1992 and June 2010, at least 60 cassowaries died on local roads. At the request of Terrain NRM, James Cook University (JCU) undertook significant research into traffic impacts on cassowaries (and other fauna) on Mission Beach roads. Continue reading →