On lookout for coastal emus

Help sought to save coastal emu population

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THREE'S COMPANY: Coastal emus at Brooms Head. Photo: Stephen Otton

THREE'S COMPANY: Coastal emus at Brooms Head. Photo: Stephen Otton

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Their population is down to 50. Now the government is seeking public help to save the coastal emu.

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HAVE you spotted a coastal emu in the NSW Clarence or Richmond areas? If so, your help is needed to protect the remaining endangered population.

It is estimated there are less than 50 birds remaining.

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said the coastal emus were genetically different from other emus and many native plants depended on the bird to distribute their seeds over distances of up to 50 kilometres - a vital role no other species can fill.

"The Clarence and Richmond valleys are now crucial habitat areas for the coastal emu and the local community has a big role to play in helping us save this population by telling us when and where they see one," he said.

"By identifying nesting sites we can target feral animal control at a local scale and by tracking the seasonal movements of the emus we can better understand the survival of adults and chicks, and whether captive breeding might hold the key to eventually rebuilding the number of coastal emus found in the wild."

Under the NSW Government's Saving Our Species program, about $42,000 in funding has been provided, with an additional $42,000 as part of a larger NSW Government Environmental Trust funded project.

"Through this program we are looking at population surveys and monitoring, installing signage and raising awareness to reduce the number of emus that are struck by vehicles," Mr Kean said.

"We are also promoting feral pig and dog control, and working with landholders to minimise the impact of fencing on emus as they move through the environment."

Sightings or any other information about coastal emus can be made through Clarence Valley Council's website.

Since it launched last year, 191 sightings have been submitted across the Clarence and Richmond Valley.

For more on NSW Government Saving Our Species Program click HERE

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