We are looking at changing the format of our newsletter so that you can read the whole newsletter with one click. So ...

Welcome to 2017 and a new Cassowary year! At Rainforest Reserves we are busy still working on a number of projects and with our AGM behind us and our productive partnership with EHP, we believe 2017 will be a great year.

Our AGM held in November, resulted in Carolyn Emms being re-elected President, with Rose Taylor continuing as Secretary and Richard Hare as Treasurer. We welcomed a new Board member Trevor Parker. The other Board members (Geoff Onus, Philip Emms, Rose Taylor, Adam Northover and Belinda Bogart) will be continuing during 2017.

We have a new caretaker at Garners Beach with Ingrid Markover taking over the reins from Shane. Ingrid is a long term resident at Mission Beach and is passionate about preserving the local cassowary population. She has been rescuing the birds mauled by dogs and is continuing to raise awareness in the local community about this insidious problem. Recently Roffy was attended to by Graham Lauridsen after being attacked, and he commented that this is the second time this bird has been mauled. Unfortunately with no tagging nor follow up tracking, data about these incidents is only subjective. To assist Ingrid in her quest and to help cassowaries in general, please contact the Threatened Special Commissioner, Gregory Andrews, on his Facebook page to urge for further funding and acknowledgement of the plight on cassowaries in the north. (https://www.facebook.com/TSCommissioner)

Carolyn has met with the Minister for Main Roads, Hon. Mark Bailey, to ask for lower speed limits in the Lake Barrine area. There continues to be divided community pressure for lower speed limits in the Mission Beach area with some residents who work outside the area wishing to continue with the status quo, while others feel speeds and speed bumps, similar to those in the Daintree, would assist the cassowaries to be more road safe. EHP and the local community do contribute with ‘Recent sighting’ signs. Make your feelings known to your local members and let’s lower the cassowary road toll!

The Tableland Facility is nearing its official opening of the Tableland Facility at Barrine Park. Extra mesh has been inserted at the bottom of the fencing to ensure wild dogs and pigs cannot dig under the fence and this is patrolled and any dogs and pigs on the property are removed immediately. Approval for procedures by EHP and the Ethics Committee is still pending at the time of writing. It would be wonderful to hold an opening ceremony for interested Rainforest Reserves members when this occurs – and to welcome our young cassowaries from Garners Beach.

A reminder that while tax deductibility is still being processed for members, all donations to Rainforest Trust with whom we are partners, are matched. This means we are doubling our funds for no extra effort from us. Costs for the continuing tree planting at the Tableland facility are $10/tree to buy and maintain, so these funds are important to assist in this work and to continue at Garners Beach. Carolyn and Phil have also restored a neighbouring house at Barrine Park and offer accommodation there through AirBnB (Barrine Park) as a fundraising effort. Please encourage any visitors to the area to utilise this well-appointed accommodation in such peaceful and scenic surroundings. Carolyn has met tourists off cruise ships, manned stores at Farmers’ Markets and at the Daintree during World Cassowary Day. Help Rainforest Reserves Australia, raise the profile of the cassowary, and our fund raising ability, by encouraging your friends to like our Facebook page. In the meantime, Rainforest Trust has approved the 52 000 tree project and there will be a planting in late February and April in partnership with North Queensland Land Management Services, Conservation Volunteers Australia and Lake Barrine Conservation Nursery among others. Perhaps YOU might like to join us for some of the time! Please contact Carolyn on 0400 853 849 closer to the time for exact dates and times.

We had a school visit to the Tableland facility to raise awareness of the plight of cassowaries and to show students some of the background work that is required to run rescue/rehabilitation facilities. As well, Phil demonstrated how good cattle raising practices helps sustain the environment. Pictures paint a thousand words so here are some mementoes from that visit.