Protecting Cassowaries from Predatory Domestic Animals

Ingrid Marker has lived adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area near Mission Beach for 25 years. In that time, a family of seven cassowaries became frequent visitors and made themselves at home on her property. Ingrid was lucky to witness the family have chicks and grow into mature birds with their own chicks, as they strutted around her home and garden over the years. Cassowaries are listed as endangered, and there are less than 1,400 in existence.

Two years ago, the unthinkable happened. Roaming domestic dogs tore through her home and over four months killed the family of cassowaries and all their chicks. After killing the cassowaries, the domestic dogs returned, broke through the fly-wire and tried to attack Ingrid within her own home. Two out of the pack of six dogs were caught in the National Park trap, but as they were collared they were returned by Council, without penalty to their owners. The other uncollared dogs were never caught. They all belonged to locals and were all allowed to roam at night becoming serial killers.

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Yellow crazy ants in the tropics, it’s not over yet

This guest post is contributed by the Invasive Species Council. The Invasive Species Council campaigns for stronger laws, policies and programs to keep Australia’s native plants and animals safe from weeds, feral animals and other invaders. http://www.invasive.org.au

The battle to protect Queensland’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area from yellow crazy ants has had new life breathed into it with the promise of $10.5 million over the next three years, enough to resuscitate an eradication program that was on the verge of collapse.

The Federal Government has committed $7.5 million and Queensland will kick in another $3 million. However, the Wet Tropics Management Authority says it needs $15 million to eradicate the invasive ant.

Yellow crazy ants are considered among the world’s worst invasive species. Unchecked they form super colonies that can devastate native animal populations and turn rainforests into ghost towns.

Yellow crazy ants attacking a caterpillar.
Yellow crazy ants are a threat to north Queensland’s beautiful native butterflies and caterpillars, which are just one of many small native animals killed by these highly aggressive invasive ant species. Photo: David Wilson

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Koster’s curse – time is on our side

Guest post is contributed by the Invasive Species Council. The Invasive Species Council campaigns for stronger laws, policies and programs to keep Australia’s native plants and animals safe from weeds, feral animals and other invaders. http://www.invasive.org.au

Koster’s curse has been described as Australia’s new lantana. A slow growing, invasive weed it smothers pastures and the native understorey of tropical rainforests.

It poses a threat to agriculture and the rainforests of our wet tropics. In Hawaii it has smothered everything in its path and forced landowners off their land – a bleak outlook for Australia’s beautiful wet tropics.

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