Threats to cassowaries! Dogs, cars and habitat loss
Dogs continue to be one of the main causes of cassowary injury and death – and the attacked birds often don’t make it to Garner’s Beach because they are mauled in the rainforest or on farms. This means there is little evidence or data collected on these deaths. On the Tableland we eliminate 10 – 15 dogs each year and have not seen packs of dogs since we began this process. A similar protection plan needs to be examined for the remaining cassowary habitat areas with state legislation to be drafted for this to occur.
With 3 young cassowaries recent victims of car strike, further care needs to be taken by drivers in known cassowary habitats, and lower speed limits implemented and monitored.
Wet Tropics has reprinted the popular cassowary bumper stickers to encourage drivers to slow down in cassowary habitat areas. As stated above, vehicle strikes are one of the main causes of cassowary deaths in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and with only around 1000 birds left, numbers are critical. Take care, slow down and save our wildlife! Contact us to get a sticker for a gold coin donation. Donations go to regional environmental groups involved in cassowary conservation.
We are currently in discussions with EHP over a volunteers’ model to overcome this problem. We would be looking for volunteers to place strategic LARGE warning signs in recent sighting areas and then retrieve the signs when the birds have moved on. This way motorists don’t become complacent and ignore the signs.