CASSOWARY habitat at Wangetti Beach will be rehabilitated when more than 1000 native trees are planted later this year.

Douglas Shire Council started preparation work at the site using a Bio condition Assessment Tool designed to measure the change in vegetation condition for projects funded under the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program (NLP)

The revegetation project is funded through Terrain NRM’s Building Rainforest Resilience project which includes revegetation work, a landholder incentives program, community grants and ways to reduce cassowary deaths and injuries on roads

Council’s Biosecurity Team Leader Brad Everett said the project was a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with rangers to rehabilitate littoral rainforest.

“We believe through weed removal and revegetation, we can help cassowaries by improving the extent, condition and connectivity of their habitats,” he said.

“Council staff are working with the Yirrganydji Indigenous Land Sea Rangers, who have strategies for managing littoral rainforest and coastal vine thickets between Port Douglas and Palm Cove, to share knowledge and create a long-term investment for the preservation of this unique part of coastline.

“This will evolve into a strong working relationship to increase the frequency of future environmental restoration projects.”

Mossman Nursery staff are busy preparing native tree species for numerous revegetation projects scheduled throughout the Shire this year. More than 300,000 native trees have gone out since the nursery started recording revegetation projects in the year 2000.

Most plants are grown from seeds that are collected locally to keep the genetics of the area intact wherever possible.

Many staff carry bags in their pocket or car for seed collection, and there are also numerous dedicated volunteers that help in the nursery, who also assist with seed collections.