Decision Maker Response
Steven Miles’s response
Sep 29, 2015 — Hi everyone - what a terrific response there has been to this petition! It's really encouraging that there is so much public support for actions to conserve and protect our endangered native wildlife like the magnificent cassowary.
I'm pleased to confirm the advice posted by Kay Pee, that the Garner's Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre is now able to accept adult birds once more. A female adult bird was admitted on 9 September after being hit by a car, and she has now been successfully released back into the wild (not before laying an egg though!).
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection made a number of modifications at Garner's Beach to make it safer for volunteers and staff to provide care for adult birds whilst also reducing the amount of interaction the adults have with humans while at the centre, so that they do not become accustomed to being around people. These modifications include:
- a remote-controlled gating system for the holding pens so cassowaries can be moved while the pens are cleaned or fixed;
- new feeding portals so the birds can be fed without the need for staff to enter the holding pens;
- CCTV cameras to allow carers to observe birds remotely when assessing their condition and health; and
- a new water reticulation system so water supplies to the pens can be operated by remote control.
About 75 per cent of cassowary habitat in the wet tropics region has been secured in Queensland’s protected area estate. This makes a big difference to our conservation effort, and the latest research by CSIRO puts cassowary population in the Wet Tropics at around 4500 individuals, which is bigger than previously thought. There is another population on Cape York but the numbers there are unknown.
While the cassowary is not out of danger yet, the signs are that conservation efforts are having a positive effect.
It is important though that as a community, we keep up the effort to protect our increasing cassowary population from the risk of injury, especially from vehicle strikes and dog attacks.
I wasn't able to attend World Cassowary Day this year but I'm delighted that Craig Crawford MP, the member for Barron River, was able to attend and speak on my behalf. By all accounts it was a great day and I congratulate everyone involved!
Thank you again to all of you who have signed this petition for standing up for the cassowary. I look forward to continuing to work with the community to improve the conservation outcomes for this incredible creature.