Wildlife groups come together to celebrate cassowaries and their friends
The Wet Tropics lived up to its name with heavy showers on the morning of World Cassowary Day at beautiful Mission Beach. Once the rain passed, an estimated crowd of 2,000 people flocked to see the 46 community, traditional owner, tourism, research and government groups showcasing their wildlife work at the event.
An event highlight was the appearance of federal Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews, who spent three days in the region being hosted by Terrain. During his visit he met with local environment groups to discuss the Far North's threatened species.
The World Cassowary Day event was produced by a partnership of organisations including C4, Mission Beach Cassowaries, Terrain, local government, ABC Far North, Australian Government, Mission Beach Tourism and Kuranda Conservation.
Mr Andrews said he had thoroughly enjoyed the event and the hospitality of the locals in the north.
“It has been rewarding seeing firsthand how we can apply Australia's Threatened Species Strategy and assessing how existing Australian Government funding through the National Landcare and Green Army programme is making a difference for threatened species in the region. I've also gained a better understanding of what more needs to be done.
"My key take-home message is the value of investing where there is strong community resilience and determination in protecting and recovering wildlife and plants. World Cassowary Day topped it all off. Many thanks to Terrain NRM which organised much of my visit and which has a very clear capability in bringing people and resources together effectively to protect and recover threatened species in FNQ.”
Bob Irwin of Australia Zoo was also a guest on the day. World Cassowary Day will be held in Douglas Shire in 2016 and the official handover of the event was made to Mayor Julia Leu who is looking forward to celebrating cassowaries and their friends next year.