Significant impact guidelines for the endangered southern cassowary (Casuarius johnsonii) Wet tropics population Nationally threatened species and ecological communities epbc act policy statement 15 Copyright
The examples in the above table give guidance to the level of impact that is likely to be significant for the cassowary at a site. They are not intended to be exhaustive or prescriptive, but rather to highlight the need to maintain the ecological function of the habitat area.
#Clearing includes any canopy, mid storey or understorey removal that reduces habitat quality.
Habitat and/or populations may, and often will, extend beyond Map 2 boundaries and may include (but are not limited to) areas used for: foraging, breeding, roosting, dispersal.
*Corridors not shown on Map 2 may also be important to the cassowary. Cassowaries will use a variety of local movement corridors which can be riparian corridors, water bodies, strategic open spaces and areas where food resources are available. Whilst not shown on Map 2 these corridors may be important and will depend on species presence and likelihood of use. See Figures 2 and 3. Alternative corridors also decrease the risk of antagonistic encounters between territorial cassowaries.
^Fencing- For development in the Cairns urban footprint area that abuts cassowary habitat but does not fragment habitat or a movement corridor, exclusion fencing may be appropriate. Fencing should be considered on a case by case basis, see Table 2.
Figure 2: Barriers to cassowary movement
What to do if you think your activity may impact on the cassowary or cassowary habitat.
Ask yourself the following questions and take appropriate actions:
What does this mean for actions that may significantly impact on the cassowary?
If you plan an action that may have a significant impact on the cassowary then you should refer the proposal to the federal environment minister before commencing the action. The minister will decide within 20 business days whether assessment and approval is required under the EPBC Act. More information on referral and assessment is available at: www.environment.gov.au/epbc/assessments/process.html.
How can my actions avoid having a significant impact on the cassowary?
Mitigation includes all measures undertaken on the site of the action to avoid or reduce its impacts. Measures should be incorporated into the design of the action at the conceptual and planning stage(s) to:
Mitigation and management actions must:
The following mitigation measures may assist in minimising impacts on the cassowary. In many cases, a combination of mitigation measures may give the highest benefit. Removing or mitigating a threat may return suitable habitat to regular cassowary use.
An adaptive management approach should be taken when considering actions to ensure mitigation measures are flexible enough to adjust to changing conditions.
Table 2: Suggested mitigation measures for the cassowary
# Building envelope is grouped together to minimise clearing and other impacts
*Fencing – Information on best practice guidelines can be sourced from recent decisions approving projects from local, state, and Australian government websites.
Figure 3: Large lot sub-division
Where can I get more information?
The Recovery Plan for the Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius johnsonii (Environment Protection Agency, 2007) provides detailed biological information, recovery objectives, performance criteria and actions. It is available from the department’s website at: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/southern-Cassowary/pubs/sth-Cassowary.pdf
Other EPBC Act policy statements will help you to understand the Act and your obligations. They are available from the department’s website at: www.environment.gov.au/epbc/guidelines-policies.html, or by contacting the community information unit by email: email@example.com or phone: 1800 803 772.
The protected matters search tool can provide a good starting point for determining the likelihood of having matters of national environmental significance in your area at: www.environment.gov.au/erin/ert/epbc/index.html.
phone: 1800 704 520
Local community groups, state, territory and local government agencies may hold relevant information including habitat and species distribution information.
Search recent decisions made under the EPBC Act for information on similar proposals:
Further information including details on other listed threatened species and ecological communities is at the department’s species profiles and threats database (SPRAT) at:
Significant Impact Guidelines for the endangered southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii)
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