A Rio Tinto research programme in Far North Queensland involving Australia’s rarest bird of prey has taken another step forward after the signing of a new Red Goshawk agreement with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC).
The new collaboration builds on an already successful research programme with the Queensland Department of Environment & Science (DES) which commenced following a sighting of a Red Goshawk nest on a mining lease near the community of Mapoon in 2015.
Rio Tinto Weipa Operations general manager Daniel van der Westhuizen said the business was proud to work with AWC to ensure a long-term future for the endangered species.
"The Red Goshawk is a fascinating bird of prey, however limited information exists around its basic ecology and conservation requirements.
"In partnership with DES we have been able to refine our tracking and trapping techniques over the past three years, with four individual birds fitted with transmitters over that time providing invaluable information.
"I’m pleased to announce that we will be working with AWC, which will help us take the next step in growing our collective knowledge for the local region and support the development of collaborative protective strategies," he said.
AWC is Australia's largest private owner of land for conservation. It manages 4.6 million hectares in iconic regions such as the Kimberley, Cape York, Lake Eyre and the Top End. On Cape York Peninsula, 170,000 hectares of ecological diversity, with rainforests, woodlands, wetlands and grasslands, can be found in Piccaninny Plains Wildlife Sanctuary.
The research agreement with DES and AWC is just one of many Rio Tinto has in place with local Indigenous ranger groups, Traditional Owners, universities and Government agencies to learn more about threatened species on Western Cape York, including the Palm Cockatoo and Northern Quoll.