Sep 29, 2015

Thank you for your help save the Endangered Southern Cassowary

Juvenile cassowaries - Garner's Beach Centre
Juvenile cassowaries - Garner's Beach Centre

Your donations have been helping to feed, care for and rehabilitate three orphaned Endangered Southern Cassowary chicks in Far Northern Queensland. Thank you!

As we reported earlier this year, as part of our work in saving the Endangered Southern Cassowary from extinction, in late in 2014 Rainforest Rescue began helping care for three orphaned Endangered Southern Cassowary chicks as part of our work at the Garner’s Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre in Mission Beach, Far North Queensland, Australia. Thanks to all your support, these three beautiful cassowary chicks are now healthy once again and are growing very fast! We are delighted to provide for you today this the latest update on these three spritely, lovely cassowaries!

The main care-giver assisting at the Garner’s Beach Centre is Emily, who works hard to ensure that every day the birds have all they need. Here is Emily with a first hand report this month:

“All three birds are doing very well, they are constantly playing and are now eating (so much) fruit! They are comfortably getting through (about) 9 – 12 litres (buckets) of fruit foods each a day – plus their weekly dose of chicken necks and dog biscuits.”

As we reported earlier, the food and care for the three birds is carefully prescribed from expert advice received from wildlife veterinarians who are experienced in specialty care for cassowaries. Care is taken to ensure that the diet the cassowaries are provided closely matches both what they find in the rainforests, as well as being what they require as essential nutrition to help them develop soundly and grow healthy.

With the weather heating up again in Far North Queensland at this time of year, the Centre’s grounds need to be kept cool for the birds. Measures are taken to try and closely resemble the birds’ natural surroundings; the type of conditions they would find themselves in throughout the natural rainforest of the region. Emily said:

“The climate here has changed yet again, …we are having hot days now and the humidity is rapidly increasing… this means the ponds in the grounds are filled and the cassowaries are very much enjoying the two ponds – and the sprinklers I put on - …to frolic and play in.”

As you can see in the photos, the three chicks are actually no longer really just ‘chicks’! They are now considered to be of juvenile age and as they are growing, their feathers are changing to be longer and more defined, and their legs are taller and stronger – as is their appetite! Each of the birds are standing rather tall now, and they are more and more beginning to resemble mannerisms and the look of majestic adult cassowaries!

This is all great news as this indicates all three birds are fit and healthy and as the days pass, they are growing big enough to begin being considered for release back into their rainforest habitat!

Rainforest Rescue was also fortunate enough to meet some of the Global Giving community members earlier this year, in August. We were delighted to have the opportunity to host Alex and Amanda from Global Giving as they toured around Australia. Alex and Amanda were able to meet Emily at Garner’s Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre and briefly get a glimpse of the three cassowaries in care. Here we have a great photograph to share with you straight from Alex’s camera - one of the three happy birds - up close and personal!

Thank you kindly for your support for this important project – your care and interest in our work enables Rainforest Rescue to operate these projects to help save the Endangered Southern Cassowary! Your support is having significant impact, assisting us to make great progress in securing a bio-diverse future for this unique species and its native rainforest habitat in Australia.

All this would not be possible without your generous support. Thank you!

Photo taken by Alex from Global Giving
Photo taken by Alex from Global Giving
The three cassowaries - September 2015
The three cassowaries - September 2015
Aug 18, 2015

Seeds of Positive Change

Thank you for adopting rainforest and assisting Rainforest Rescue us to purchase and protect vulnerable areas of tropical rainforest from development forever! Your support is making a significant impact assisting Rainforest Rescue to make great progress on large scale rainforest restoration.  Your precious contributions are propagating rainforest seedlings which are tirelessly planted on Daintree lands by our staff and volunteers –  in the last six months to see 8,288 trees planted on Lot 96 in Cape Tribulation, Daintree! We are pleased to report that with this number of tree planted this year, all areas requiring regeneration on Lot 96 Cape Tribulation, Daintree, are now fully planted out with matured seedlings and this stage of its restoration is now complete!

In May this year, volunteers travelled from far and wide to participate in Rainforest Rescue’s annual community tree planting weekend, which saw over 2,000 of the 8,288 trees planted on Lot 96 – a tremendous effort! Many of the 20,000 seedlings propagated annually at the Rainforest Rescue Daintree Nursery certainly got put to good use in this planting session!  Joe Riechl, our Land Manager in the Daintree, tells us that “…(the seedlings) have grown so much, some are almost waist high now.” After a lot of watering and weed control since May, the little rainforest trees are now thriving! Thank you so much for helping Rainforest Rescue to reach this wonderful milestone for Lot 96!

Such significant environmental restoration simply would not be possible without your continued support. The reason the regeneration of this land is so vitally important is because the Daintree Rainforest is home to 12 of the world's 19 primitive plant families, the highest concentration on earth! Overall, it maintains an amazing variety of plants and animals, including 122 rare, threatened and endangered species. Many of these species are 'endemic' to the region meaning that they are found nowhere else on the planet.

Your support helps to protect these beautiful species! Every tree planted in the ground to protect these extraordinary species’ habitat in the Daintree costs $10 and this helps secure a bio-diverse future for this unique rainforest! You are assisting us to undertake this important conservation work and plant these trees. It would not be possible without your generous support. Thank you.

Aug 18, 2015

Wildlife Coming Home to Restored Lot 46

Cassowary footprint
Cassowary footprint

Great news from the Daintree Rainforest! Further to Rainforest Rescue working hard to ensure Lot 46 Cape Tribulation, Daintree, becomes an certified nature reserve, we are pleased to report that Lot 46 has reached a huge milestone in its restoration – all areas requiring regeneration are now fully planted out with matured seedlings – and we can now leave these 27 hectares to do nature's work, where we will see in 3 years a canopy develop and the restoration work will be done!  

Happily, already Lot 46 is being visited by many Ulysses Butterflies, Daintree birds and even an endangered Southern Cassowary – wildlife is starting to return to the land! With the change of seasons in Far North Queensland, from wet to dry, Joe Reichl, our Daintree Land Manager, reporting in June “…it’s been cold, drizzly and dark, not good for the solar power! The rainforest animals are tucked up out of the cold and trying to keep dry. However the Ulysses butterflies are flying around; they all look very large and perfect.”

More recently however, in July and August, Joe reported to us that he saw fresh Sothern Cassowary scats and a footprint on the tracks at Lot 46!  Joe tells us that there are Southern Cassowary’s wandering around regularly, mostly males with young ones almost old enough to become independent. In fact, there are a lot of flora and fauna about as we move near spring in the Daintree (September), and there are Cairns Birdwing Butterflies now being spotted often and lots of active cassowary sightings! Joe is seeing many Southern Cassowaries when he is out watering now, and they love to use the existing tracks on Lot 46 to walk down – easier than bush bashing!

The wildlife on Lot 46 is now thriving through the work undertaken to preserve and regenerate this land, and this would not be possible without your support – thank you so much!

What comes next?

•    We are planning guided walking tours of Lot 46 during the dry season to demonstrate what can be achieved when rainforest is re- established, protected and properly managed;
•    All  planted areas will be cared for - watered and weeded for two years -  until rainforest canopy cover is naturally achieved;
•    Continuing fundraising to ensure we can create a permanent conservation reserve on Lot 46, creating a Cassowary Conservation Reserve.

Making Lot 46 a Cassowary Conservation Reserve

Located in the heart of the Daintree lowlands, Lot 46 was purchased in 2010 to protect it from further destruction. The property was cleared in the 1960s for cattle grazing and agriculture, and later for growing exotic oil palms. Rubbish and impenetrable weeds had taken over much of the property.

Of the 25 properties that Rainforest Rescue has saved, Lot 46 is the only one not purchased through fundraising. We are working hard to raise the funds to protect the property in perpetuity and turn it into a permanently protected Reserve and change not only its future, but preserve the unique biodiversity of the Daintree. Thank you for helping Rainforest Rescue ensure Lot 46 is protected forever as a ‘Cassowary Conservation Reserve’.

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