CYCLONE YASI RESPONSE UPDATE FROM WTMA & DERM 18/02/11
A community meeting held in Mission Beach at C4 Environmental Centre on Friday 18 February, attended by approximately 50 people from the Cassowary Coast, The Tablelands and Cairns.
- Terrain, WTMA, QPWS, Main Roads, and the Cassowary Coast Regional Council (CCRC) gave brief presentations at the community meeting followed by a Question and Answer session.
- Most of the discussion focused around the location of feeding stations and details of the feeding programme and road signage, but wider environmental clean-up issues were also discussed. CCRC have established a post-cyclone environmental recovery group which is meeting weekly to co-ordinate the response to wider environmental concerns. Terrain will be producing a weekly e-bulletin.
- A local vet reminded us that post-mortems on birds which died the year after Cyclone Larry revealed exotic fruits (not supplied by the feeding stations) and even pasta and noodles in birds’ stomachs, and that most of the birds that were run-over were hit in urban and semi-urban areas. Please continue to remind people not to feed cassowaries, even if birds look hungry. Not only may they become aggressive if they associate humans with food, but there’s also no incentive to look for food elsewhere, meaning they remain in urban areas where they’re at more risk from vehicles and dogs. It is also illegal to handfeed cassowaries.
- Several people at the meeting asked to know about the location of feeding stations, while others were keen to ensure that the exact locations are not revealed (to discourage disturbance by human visitors). Maps will be published that show only the approximate location of feeding stations.
- The amount of signage along roadsides has increased (with more to come) and reconstruction crews are being reminded daily about the need to go slow through cassowary country.
- The next community meeting will be held after 15th March (the date of the next Mission Beach Habitat Action Network meeting).