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26 July, 2020

Landholders sign up to help save the cassowary

Residents are banding together to help cassowaries by signing up to voluntary conservation agreements that will protect their land into the future.

By Phil Brandel

After the recent deaths of three cassowary chicks on the Kuranda range, local landowners are signing up to help with building a 100km rainforest corridor.

The residents are banding together to help cassowaries by signing up to voluntary conservation agreements that will protect their land into the future.

Nature refuges are voluntary conservation agreements between landholders and the Queensland Government which conserves the lands natural resources while allowing compatible and sustainable land use. The agreements also cover future landowners and land sales.

More than 115 hectares of the rainforest could become four nature refuges after property assessments by the Queensland Trust for Nature this week, as more landowners are currently in negations to sign the agreements.

The news comes in a year where there were 16 recorded cassowary deaths on roads across the Wet Tropics region, three of them on the Kuranda area.

Kuranda Conservation Community Nursery’s Jax Bergersen said a partnership with Terrain NRM and Queensland Trust for Nature was streamlining the conservation agreement process.

“Through this project, we are aiming for 120 hectares of habitat protection on rural freehold properties with extensive cassowary habitat,’’ Ms Bergersen said. “The long-term goal is for nature refuges all along the existing world-heritage cassowary corridor.”

She said the world heritage rainforest was at its narrowest – just two to three kilometres - in the Kuranda region, and it was intersected by roads including the Kuranda Range Rd.

“Linking world heritage rainforest areas with prime blocks of land is a way forward, along with the revegetation work that’s been happening for decades in this region,” she said.

Di Daniels who owns 97 acres of rainforest land just outside of Kuranda said she originally bought the land to help conserve some rain forest for cassowaries.

“We moved in here 6 months ago to build something to live in whilst at the same time help the cassowaries, “she said

“There are also lots of other animals on our property like ring-tailed possums, pademelons, and wallabies."

Di said that the land is now held as a conservation area in perpetuity so if someone else wants to subdivide the land they can’t.

“We bought the land and then started wondering 'we are doing all this work here on the land', but what happens to the land after we are no longer around?”

“Then I found out about voluntary land conservation and it’s just what we want,

“We’re really privileged to be living in this environment. We want to make sure the rainforest is conserved after we’re gone.’’

For more information about voluntary conservation agreements,  go to Landholders can also contact Jax Bergersen on 4093 8834.



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