DT: Reducing Cassowary Deaths on Roads

Conduct scientific research into factors contributing to cassowary deaths from motor vehicle strikes and develop effective strategies to minimise harm.

Why it is important?

A number of cassowaries are killed from vehicle strike each year in the Wet Tropics.  However, the combination of factors which contribute to these deaths (vehicle speed, visibility, cassowary behaviour near roads, driver skill and awareness, roadside vegetation) are not well understood.  Better data on cassowary deaths on roads, as well as ‘near misses’, will allow more effective and targeted strategies to be implemented.

Examples of Local Action

  • Investigate ‘near misses’ involving cassowaries on roads to build up a better picture of the factors contributing to whether or not a cassowary is hit or injured by motor vehicles (eg. social research, confidential surveys).
  • Compare cassowary fatality data from vehicle strike at different locations in the Wet Tropics (eg. Mission Beach, Kuranda, Daintree) to determine factors contributing to cassowary deaths.
  • Provide information to tourists at car hire places, including driving conditions in the Daintree, safe driving tips, ensuring they look out for cassowaries and other wildlife on or near roads, taking extra care around parked vehicles or where there is limited visibility.

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