As World Cassowary Day fast approaches on Saturday 26 September, year six students at Mission Beach State School are being proactive in the cause to raise public awareness of the need to take care on roadways.
Under the guidance of their teacher Carmen Pedroni, the students have applied their imagination and a splash of colour, to design temporary road signs encouraging the public to be aware of the presence of cassowaries in the area.
“This is a great opportunity for our students to not only have their artworks displayed in the community, but to also help in the campaign to encourage motorists to slow down to prevent unnecessary cassowary casualties” she said.
Traffic is one of the greatest threats to cassowaries and recent research by Zoo & Aquarium Association and Terrain NRM confirms that Mission Beach is a hotspot for cassowary deaths and injuries caused by vehicle strikes.
Anticipating increased traffic in the area as visitors travel to Mission Beach for the ‘Celebrating Cassowaries & Their Friends’ at C4 on 26 September, Terrain negotiated with the Department of Main Roads to allow the signs to be installed on roadsides during the event.
Tony O’Malley, Terrain’s Community Partnerships Leader, said it was great to see local school children getting so involved in cassowary conservation.
“As a community we are doing good work protecting habitat and corridors but vehicle strike is still a significant risk as cassowaries often need to cross roads to access their habitat.
These temporary signs made by local kids will grab the attention of local and visiting drivers and remind them to take care.”
Local artist Liz Gallie has also volunteered her skills by graphically enhancing the children’s drawings so they stand out on roadsides.
This week Terrain is holding a workshop with stakeholders including Main Roads, Council, Police and community to identify effective solutions to reduce cassowary deaths and injuries on our roads.
For more information about World Cassowary Day go to www.worldcassowaryday.com
Tony O’Malley, Community Partnerships Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0437 728190
Liz Gallie, 0414 402315