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New models of conservation: “Win The Best Holiday In The World”

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on November 16th, 2009

Source: EcoVoice

From: “Help Save The Cassowary And You Could Win A Holiday To Tropical North Qld”, by Mia Lucy

The Best Holiday in the World competition has been set up by the Australian Rainforest Foundation (ARF) to provide funds to purchase a 250km stretch of rainforest Cassowary habitat in far North Queensland to allow safe passage and breeding for the Cassowary.  Saving the big bird is a massive undertaking. The ARF’s response to this challenge is Operation Big Bird, launched globally in August 2009. The campaign brings together all levels of government, community groups and individuals, scientists, traditional owners, land managers and the corporate sector to work collaboratively towards a common goal.

“The Cassowary is the gardener of the Australian rainforest and its survival is vital for the health of the habitat,” says Warren Entsch, ARF Chairman. We refer to it as a keystone species because its existence is critical for the survival, food and shelter of many other plants and animals. These magnificent birds disperse the seeds of more than 200 rainforest plants through their droppings. If the Cassowary disappears, rainforests like the magnificent Daintree will irreversibly changed. Also, keep in mind this bird is of immense cultural significance to the local Indigenous population,” he says.  The goal is an ambitious Cassowary corridor, linking critical areas of habitat between Cooktown and Cardwell, a distance of more than 400km covering a wide variety of vegetation.

“This will be the largest wildlife corridor ever established in Australia and will be a world-first pilot project demonstrating how an industrialised nation can sustain an endangered wildlife population in its midst.”

Landowners will be provided with incentives to undertake best practice stewardship of the habitat, including pest and weed control, appropriate fencing and revegetation. The potential advantages of an integrated cassowary corridor network are an overall increase in the bird’s foraging area, access to a mix of habitats, higher immigration rates of birds, increasing population size, reducing inbreeding and encouraging genetic variation.  The Australian Rainforest Foundation has been partnered by over 50 North Queensland tourist operators and resorts to develop a spectacular prize for the “Best Holiday in the World” competition.  “Anyone making a contribution to the corridor campaign will go into the draw to win what we know is the best holiday in the world,” said Warren Entsch.  “Tropical North Queensland is a playground for visitors and we want the winners to indulge in all it has to offer and not pay a cent.”

Read the full article by Mia Lucy.

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