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Apr 8, 2014

New campaign to Save the Cassowary launched in Sydney

Jennifer Croes prepares for live TV cross
Jennifer Croes prepares for live TV cross

The Southern Cassowary is endemic to Australia’s Wet Tropics region in Far North Queensland and a keystone species, whose loss would impact other species and the ecosystem. The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is listed as the second most ‘irreplaceable natural World Heritage Area’ on earth. Many species such as the Southern Cassowary, the Mahogany Glider and Bennett’s Tree Kangaroo are found there.

Current estimates fear fewer than 1,000 birds are left in the wild. Rapid residential and commercial development has eliminated much of its habitat. Little known to most people, this living dinosaur evolved millions of years ago and is vital to the rainforest’s ecological functionality. It disperses the seeds of more than 180 rainforest plant species.

At WILDLIFE Sydney Zoo on 17 March 2014, Rainforest Rescue launched a new iteration of its Save the Cassowary campaign in collaboration with 19 Australian zoos, government departments and business partners to urgently highlight the future of the endangered ‘Rainforest Gardener’, the Southern Cassowary. The event included a live cross to local breakfast TV show ‘Wake Up’, from inside the cassowary enclosure.

Launching the campaign, Rainforest Rescue’s Conservation Director Jennifer Croes announced a new partnership with Girringun Aboriginal Corporation, describing it as “bridging the conservation gap by incorporating Traditional Owner knowledge and values to long-term conservation solutions.”

Chris Hibbard from the Zoo Aquarium Association (Australiasia) spoke of the need to put the dwindling numbers of Cassowaries in the spotlight as “by comparison, they are actually fewer in number than the Giant Panda, of which there is great awareness and support for its survival around the globe”.

Will Meikle from WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo spoke of the role zoos play in helping to bring Endangered species to the public’s attention, before joining Jennifer and Chris to unveil the newly created signage that will be displayed in 19 partner zoos nationwide from early April.

While the species focus of the campaign may seem like a departure from Rainforest Rescue’s traditional preservation and restoration activities, this magnificent keystone species is a ‘rainforest ambassador’. If we don’t protect its rainforest habitat, there will be no Cassowaries and vice versa, for without the unique role the Cassowary plays in dispersing more than 180 rainforest seeds, the very future of the rainforest will be compromised.

A new website has been created especially for the campaign. In addition to a wealth of information about the Southern Cassowary and the threats it currently faces, it also provides information about Rainforest Rescue’s conservation projects and how you can help, which will be regularly updated via news articles. See more at: www.savethecassowary.org.au  

Rainforest Rescue and our partners invite you to help save this ‘living dinosaur’ by getting to know the Cassowary, understand its vital importance in nature and support Rainforest Rescue’s cassowary conservation initiatives including habitat protection through land buy-back; restoration of vital habitat and corridors; Garners Beach Cassowary rehabilitation centre; and the undertaking of further scientific research.

Speakers at the campaign launch
Speakers at the campaign launch
New art cup from business partner BioPak
New art cup from business partner BioPak

Links:

Jan 23, 2014

Almost 50,000 trees, and counting!

Watering seedlings by hand
Watering seedlings by hand

Dear Friends

With support from our donors, we have now planted 49,061 trees in the World Heritage Listed Daintree Rainforest region in Northern Queensland, Australia.

Less rain than expected so far this season meant hand-watering the seedlings we planted at Lot 46 Cape Tribulation Road. We dug almost 3,000 planting holes in one week and planted more than 1,300 trees just as rains finally arrived to help the trees get established.

Seed collection
But the lack of rain also enabled us to collect lots of fruit for seeds and we now have about 20 new species in the nursery. We are growing enough seeds for our forthcoming plantings. Almost as quickly as our nursery team builds new benches and cages for the seedlings, they’re filled with new seedlings, which is great news.

Clearing
Clearing rubbish and removing invasive weeds is essential. Dealing with rubble, car wrecks, old tyres and the remains of disused buildings is hard work. We removed all the rubbish at Rosewood Road using heavy earth-moving equipment, jack hammers and even an oxy-acetylene torch on a steel-reinforced concrete slab to make way for replanting.

Camera traps
We have also installed nine camera traps at Lot 46 to capture wildlife as they return to the rainforest. We know from our work with the Orangutan Information Centre in North Sumatra that wildlife does return and we look forward to sharing pictures with you soon.

New vehicle
We recently purchased a four wheel drive vehicle to enable us better to travel in the rough terrain and carry water and tools. We are now in the process of having it branded ‘Rainforest Rescue’ so locals and visitors alike are more aware of our presence and work.

Moving forward
We hope for lots of rain this wet season to establish our new seedlings. We intend to finalise the purchase of Lots 17 & 18 Forest Creek Close, which are adjacent to Lot 16, by April. With your continuing support, this will allow us to create an important wildlife corridor in this area and protect this rainforest forever.


Can you please donate to help us continue our work to buy back and restore rainforests?

Rainforest fruits collected for seeds
Rainforest fruits collected for seeds
Clearing rubbish at Rosewood Road
Clearing rubbish at Rosewood Road
Nov 28, 2013

Help save the Cassowary this Thanksgiving

Save the Cassowary
Save the Cassowary

Dear Friend & Supporter,

One of the most ancient of all creatures to inhabit the Wet Tropics of Queensland is the Endangered Southern Cassowary. As a 'keystone species' the Cassowary's role is pivotal in preserving the rainforest and its unique plants and animals. Yet, It's estimated that fewer than 1,000 birds remain.

The Southern Cassowary has been the Wet Tropics' 'rainforest gardener' for virtually its entire existence, and is the major seed disperser of around 150 plant species. Around 70 to 100 of these plants depend entirely on the Cassowary to disperse their seeds, maintaining the rainforest's rich biodiversity.

With so few birds left in the wild, we must act now to help save the Endangered Southern Cassowary. If it becomes extinct, we stand to lose not just one of Australia's most iconic animal species, but also the Wet Tropics - including the magnificient Daintree Rainforest - as we know it.

Please make a donation by Tuesday 31st December to help protect and restore critical Cassowary habitat and assist with conservation efforts.

The greatest threat to Cassowaries is us...people. Rapid urban development in parts of the Wet Tropics has either destroyed or fragmented much of their habitat. An adult Cassowary needs 250 hectares in which to forage for food and to breed. The disruption of their habitat forces them to travel further - exposing them to threats like dog attacks and road fatalities.

Thanks to Rainforest Rescue supporters we are taking postive action to help save the Southern Cassowary. This includes the purchase and protection of 22 properties to date classified as 'essential' Cassowary habitat, and the planting of 43,756 trees in the Daintree Rainforest and at Mission Beach to create Cassowary corridors and provide extra food and shelter.

Mission Beach, south of Cairns, is home to Australia's greatest density of Southern Cassowaries. Yet, due to a combination of rapid development and extreme weather events, like Cyclone Yasi, as few as 40 to 50 birds remain.

That's why we are negotiating with the Queensland State Government to co-manage the Garner's Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre near Mission Beach. This is the only facility that rescues, rehabilitates and releases injured and orphaned Cassowaries back into the wild.

Protecting and restoring essential Cassowary habitat and supporting the life-saving work of the Garner's Beach Cassowary Rehabiliation Centre is only possible with the support of generous people like you. Your donation is key to helping us reach our target of $130,000 by Tuesday 31st January.

Your gift is vital to carrying out these types of long-term projects:

  • $50 could provide food for one adult Cassowary for a week
  • $250 could help with the planting and maintenance of 25 native rainforest trees to help restore or create Cassowary corridors
  • $750 could cover the care of an injured or orphaned Cassowary over an 18-month period
  • $1000 could contribute to the preservation of 200 square metres of Cassowary habitat

The work of caring for and protecting the rainforest, on your behalf, never stops. As the annual cyclone season begins, a gift from you now can do so much to protect the Endangered Southern Cassowary, which is extremely vuolnerable at this time of year.

Please make a donation by Tuesday 31st December. Together, we can protect and restore habitat that is critical to the survival of the Southern Cassowary - and the many rainforest plants and animals that in turn rely on the 'rainforest gardener' for their survival.

The Cassowary is critical to rainforest ecology
The Cassowary is critical to rainforest ecology
A Cassowary requires 250ha in which to breed
A Cassowary requires 250ha in which to breed
Traffic is the No.1 cause of Cassowary mortality
Traffic is the No.1 cause of Cassowary mortality
Fragmentation exposes habitat to cyclonic events
Fragmentation exposes habitat to cyclonic events
 
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