Going Going Gone? National Save The Cassowary Campaign Launch

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22nd June 2010, 12:07pm - Views: 587





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MEDIA RELEASE


for immediate release: June 23rd, 2010

Going Going Gone?

National Save the Cassowary Campaign Launch

The Rainforest Information Centre officially launches their new nationwide

campaign, Save the Cassowary, on Wednesday, June 23rd.

The endangered Southern Cassowary (Australia) perches on the edge of extinction

with perhaps as few as 1000 remaining in the tropical rainforests of Far North

Queensland. 

"The Cassowary, third largest bird in the world, is a keystone species, crucial for the

preservation of rainforest diversity" says Ruth Rosenhek, director of the Rainforest

Information Centre. 

"If they go, so too will many of the rainforest trees that depend on them for their

survival. The ancient Wet Tropics in Far North Queensland rely on these flightless

birds to disperse and germinate seeds of at least 80 rainforest trees and another 70

plants."

The primary threats to the Cassowary are loss of habitat and road kill associated with

development. The increase of traffic through Cassowary habitat has resulted in 4 adult

cassowaries being killed on roads near Mission Beach in the last 7 months.


Dog attack and obstacles to free movement in the landscape such as fences are also

major threats being introduced by residential development.  


“At Mission Beach, subdivisions are creating more than 1000 new residential blocks

and in the Daintree, 185 rainforest properties are zoned for development,” says

Rosenhek. “Clearing and development of these properties would cut off essential

wildlife corridors and severely fragment prime Cassowary habitat."

In 2008, Peter Garrett halted an inappropriate development at Mission Beach, now

known as ‘Garrett's Corridor’.

"The Minister found the development proposal to be clearly unacceptable under the

EPBC Act because of the impact it would have on the endangered Cassowary.

“This was a positive step in the right direction, however there’s a lot more work to do

to save this species in Australia. We're urging Environment Minister Peter Garrett to

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commit $60 million for a final buyback of prime Cassowary habitat land in the

Daintree and for buyback, landowner incentives and management of Cassowary

habitat in Mission Beach.”

The campaign also asks Queensland state government to reinstate the Daintree Ferry

Levy to create an ongoing source of funds for land purchase in the Daintree. 


The campaign invites supporters to sign postcards and to take cyber action on their


Already the Australian public have signed 2500 submissions asking Minister Garrett

to take action on this very important issue and a growing list of organisations have

endorsed the campaign including Friends of the Earth, Australians for Animals, the

Humane Society International,  The Community for Coastal and Cassowary 

Conservation (C4), Kuranda EnviroCare Inc. and Zoos Victoria.


"Cassowaries have a reputation for being dangerous to people and domestic animals."

says Rosenhek. "However, it is us humans who are imperilling this beautiful bird and

their forest homes; the fate of the Southern Cassowary in Far North Queensland rests

in our hands."

ENDS:

For more information, visit www.savethecassowary.org.au, email:

enquiries@savethecassowary.org.au or phone (02) 6689 7519.


CONTACTS:

Ruth Rosenhek (Director, Rainforest Information Centre) 

PH: (02) 6689 7519 e: rainforestinfo@ozemail.com.au  


Mike Berwick, (Terrain, Far North Queensland)

PH: 0419 022 629, e: mikeb@terrain.org.au 







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