TIME is running out for southern cassowaries living in the Mission Beach area as another endangered bird was killed at the weekend.

About 6.20am on Saturday a juvenile cassowary was hit and killed on Tully Mission Beach Road.

Local wildlife rescue organisation Mission Beach Wildcare responded and described the conditions as "poor, raining and low visibility and there was little the driver could do to avoid the collision".

"The driver stopped and remained at the scene until we arrived and was obviously distressed from the incident," the organisation said in a statement.

A juvenile cassowary was struck and killed on Saturday at Tully Mission Beach Road, Mission Beach. Picture: Facebook/Mission Beach Wildcare
A juvenile cassowary was struck and killed on Saturday at Tully Mission Beach Road, Mission Beach. Picture: Facebook/Mission Beach Wildcare


Liz Gallie of Mission Beach Cassowaries said the number of incidents between the birds and vehicles had increased significantly in recent years on Tully Mission Beach Road and it was hoped new safety measures could be implemented as joint studies came to a close.

"We're getting new people moving into our area and there's more cars on the roads and in the last couple of years that road has unfortunately seen many cassowary deaths," Ms Gallie said.

She said Mission Beach Cassowaries had been working with CSIRO, Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Wet Tropics Management Authority to identify areas where cassowaries crossed the road.

"People say: 'Why can't we just put a fence along the road?'

"That's not the answer. Cassowaries have a large forage area and the roads cut through their habitat.

An artist’s impression of what the cassowary zones could look like on Tully Mission Beach Road.
An artist’s impression of what the cassowary zones could look like on Tully Mission Beach Road.

"But we know TMR are keen to act from the meetings we've had. And CSIRO's study into their behaviour and crossings is now over so I'm hoping we can see action really soon.

"I'm hoping it includes the use of cassowary-activated cameras … and then alerting drivers that a cassowary is nearby or on the road before they get there.

"But they would only work with marked zones - which would be different coloured sections on the road itself where drivers know they need to slow down. And if not cassowary cameras, at least car-activated cameras reminding drivers to slow down."

Originally published as Calls for cassowary study results after juvenile's death