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Archived media releases and speeches


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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

14 April 1999

Saving Australia's Largest Bird

Federal Minister for the Environment, Senator Robert Hill, announced today that Australia's largest bird, the Southern Cassowary will be listed as nationally endangered under the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992.

"The Southern Cassowary is found only in the rainforests of Queensland, and there is now an estimated population of between 1100 and 1500 birds."

"The Federal Government is determined to make every effort to avoid any further decline in numbers and we already have a range of programs in place to address the problem, working cooperatively with the people of Far North Queensland," Senator Hill said.

"Over the last two years the Federal Government has provided almost $300,000 for the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area Management Authority's Cassowary Conservation Project, including funding from the Natural Heritage Trust.

"This Cassowary Conservation Project, incorporating a range of actions such as voluntary conservation agreements with landowners, traffic calming devices, dog control measures, species surveys and education projects, has involved substantial community participation and support.

"It is this commitment by the community in the region that gives me great confidence in the success of our efforts to protect this significant species.

"Under the terms of the Endangered Species Protection Act a recovery plan will now be prepared which will be planned and implemented in cooperation with the Queensland Government," Senator Hill said.

14 April 1999 (28/99)

Contacts: Rod Bruem (Senator Hill) 02 6277 7640 or 0411 128 582
David Kay (Environment Australia) 02 6274 2240

Southern Cassowary

Definition of Endangered on the Endangered Species Protection Act is:


A species is endangered if:

Commonwealth of Australia