Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia

by Rainforest Rescue
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Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia
Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia

Time to Grow – a New Initiative for Increased Restoration in the Daintree

Rainforest Rescue has embarked on a bold new project that will increase the number of local, endemic, genetically diverse and appropriate rainforest trees by as much as 500% for the region.

That means that we’ll be boosting our capacity from about 12,000 trees per year to, eventually, 150,000 trees per year. That’s an increase of 1150%. That’s inspiring!

Now, why would we want to do that?

Because we believe that Trees are the Answer to many of the problems that we’re facing: the climate is changing – sequester more carbon; the Daintree has been reduced through agriculture and grazing and development over the years – let’s expand it; habitat loss is one of the main drivers behind species loss – let’s create more habitat. Annually there are perhaps 30,000 trees available in the Daintree region to be put towards restoration and that’s not enough – let’s propagate more trees!

In each of the above cases, trees make the difference – trees are the difference.

What does this have to do with the Australian Southern Cassowary?

The greatest threat to Cassowaries is us … People! Rapid urban development has either destroyed or fragmented much of their territory, particularly in lowland areas — territory such as the habitat associated with feeding and breeding activities.

Listed as Endangered, the Australian Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii) has fewer than 4,600 birds left in the wild. Regarded as a ‘keystone’ species, these living dinosaurs play a crucial role in rainforest ecology and regeneration.

Through eating the fruits of over 240 species of rainforest plants and excreting the seeds great distances from the parent plant, the cassowary plays a vital role as a ‘rainforest gardener’. Many rainforest plants depend on the cassowary to move about the landscape … without them, the structure of the rainforest would permanently change.

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 magnificent Daintree Rainforest — as we know it.

Trees are the answer!

The nursery that was gifted to us 11 years ago by the Cassowary Recovery Team has been and continues to be a productive tree producer – with it we’ve managed to restore Lot 46 and its 28 hectares and have completed half of the 15 hectares that make up NightWings.

But the climate crisis continues to escalate and external forces that threaten the Daintree continue to grow. To address those issues we are committed to growing more trees than ever before in the region – and to do that, we’re designing a large-capacity nursery that is based on Mark Dunphy’s high capacity nursery in sub-tropical New South Wales. Mark is working with us to ensure that the template is adapted for the location and the environment.

And in addition to that, we’ve secured a location thanks to our partnership with Queensland Trust for Nature (QTFN), who we worked with to facilitate the purchase of Lot 83 at the Gateway to the Daintree. Its almost 1000 acres has 200+ acres that back onto the National Park and will be our first restoration project beyond NightWings. (Read more about that here.)

Along with Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation, the three organisations are poised to work together to regenerate significant portions of degraded areas of the Daintree.

Imagine when we are counting the number of trees in the millions

Ahead we have much do to, but its already been set in motion. From the rescue of Lot 83 and QTFN’s plan for a long-term nursery footprint for Rainforest Rescue to the people stepping forward to help make it real – from project management to planning to irrigation design to grants of financial support and donations and more – we’re on a wonderful new path that will complement our ongoing property buyback and rescue program as part of what makes Rainforest Rescue relevant in rainforest protection.

Trees are the Answer to restoration in the rainforests in the Far North – and Rainforest Rescue is up to the challenge, thanks to our supportive partnerships and thanks to you, our supporters.

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Lot 24 Cape Tribulation Road is Safe Forever
Lot 24 Cape Tribulation Road is Safe Forever

Thanks to you – Lot 24 Cape Tribulation Rd is safe from development – forever!

Thanks to our community of Rainforest Rescuers & Rainforest Guardians who believe in the importance of nature over development, this beautiful rainforest property will be protected from development and will continue to provide essential habitat for the many local endemic and endangered species, like the Southern Cassowary. Together we are Protecting Rainforests Forever!

Lot 24 Cape Tribulation Road is strategically located to increase an established wildlife corridor and connect protected rainforest, this property connects to the Daintree National Park / World Heritage Area through prior rescues. The purchase and rescue has further extended the Rainforest Rescue Cape Kimberley Wildlife Corridor.

This beautiful rainforest is near prior rescues and connects directly to the National Park. It is in close proximity to 10 properties protected by Rainforest Rescue that form the Cape Kimberley Wildlife Corridor and the Milky Pine Wildlife Refuge; its protection further enhances these areas.

Rare and endangered species such as the Australian Southern Cassowary and Bennett’s Tree-Kangaroo are endemic to the area, and ancient primitive flowering plants abound.

Buying this property extends a priceless and important wildlife and biodiversity nature corridor, significantly building upon existing Rainforest Rescue protected areas. This buyback is of vital importance and prevents rainforest destructive development.

“Acquiring this property augments the integrity of the wildlife corridor we have already established through lots 27, 29, 30, 32 and 33. With a significantly high ecological score we recommend that Rainforest Rescue urgently acquire this property.” — Allen Sheather, Rainforest Rescue’s Daintree Ecological Advisor with Barbara Maslen.

 

Lot 24 Cape Tribulation Road is the next piece of the Cape Kimberley Wildlife Corridor puzzle

This property is rich in endemic species of plants and animals. Plants like the beautifully scented Daintree Gardenia (Randia audasii) or the many species of primitive Laurels, relatives of avocados such as Sankey’s Walnut and animals such as Striped Possums and one of Australia’s most primitive Kangaroos, the Musky Rat Kangaroo. It directly connects to the Daintree National Park, and our field staff have assessed this property with a very high ecological score.

It is only through the support of incredible people like you, that this precious rainforest and habitat can be protected from development. Your support ensures that when we pool resources and target our efforts, we can protect and restore damaged habitat for the benefit of rainforest animals, plants, insects and fungi, and for future generations.

In the absence of greater legislative protections, we believe it’s incumbent on good people like you and I to protect and preserve what we love; that nature and rainforests such as the Daintree simply must be protected forever.

The Daintree is Australia’s crown jewel of biodiversity – it is nothing less than our honour to protect it—with your support and your commitment to nature, we will continue to do so.

Every rescue is essential, and we will keep rescuing rainforest, block by block, protecting it forever, but only with your help. Heroes like you are Protecting Rainforests Forever

We can’t thank you enough for your ongoing support and belief in the work of Rainforest Rescue. Our 35th rescue in the Daintree World Heritage Area is only possible because people like you care enough to make the difference.

 

THANK YOU!

The Team at Rainforest Rescue

PS. Stay tuned for more good news.

Barbara and Allen Sheather in the Rainforest
Barbara and Allen Sheather in the Rainforest
Lot 24 Cape Tribulation Road
Lot 24 Cape Tribulation Road
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Cassowary Image (c) Martin Stringer
Cassowary Image (c) Martin Stringer

Creating safe habitat for the Southern Cassowary and all of the Daintree’s flora and fauna – continues to be a high priority for Rainforest Rescue. And we can do this – thanks to YOU!

In fact, our next identified rescue presents a very unique and special opportunity to buy Lot 24 Cape Tribulation Road, Daintree lowlands.

This beautiful rainforest is near prior rescues and connects directly to the National Park. It is in close proximity to 10 properties protected by Rainforest Rescue that form the Cape Kimberley Wildlife Corridor and the Milky Pine Wildlife Refuge; its protection further enhances these areas.

Like our last rescue, rare and endangered species such as the Southern Cassowary and Bennett’s Tree-Kangaroo have been seen in this vicinity, and ancient primitive flowering plants abound.

And we hope we will get this property as we know our rescue and regeneration work does in fact work. Just the other day our Nursery Manager, Marine, was excited to see a Cassowary father on the edge of Rainforest Rescue protected properties and the Baralba Corridor Nature Refuge.

Dad was with his chick, almost at juvenile age. Dad did a massive jump over the gully!

These frequent sightings are important to give the Rainforest Rescue crew the confidence that the Cassowary habitat and populations are continuing to be protected.

It is always a thrill when Marine sees a Cassowary, and in her role as Nursery Manger, many of the seeds she propagates to become seedlings to regenerate damaged rainforest, are in fact seeds that the Cassowary can use as a food source.

Thank YOU for helping us look after the endangered Cassowaries on the Daintree lowlands; we truly could not do this without you.

Marine at RR's Native Nursery in the Daintree
Marine at RR's Native Nursery in the Daintree
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A Cassowary Chick
A Cassowary Chick

Rainforest Rescue’s Daintree Manager and volunteers continue to see southern cassowaries and their chicks north of the Daintree River, near Rainforest Rescue already protected land. Frequency of sightings reassures the whole team that the cassowary population numbers are healthy and growing, especially seeing cassowary offspring. Your support in helping us rescue, and restore, the habitat of these incredibly important endangered cassowaries is really paying off – for the rainforest, and the Earth.

Further great news for the Daintree’s cassowaries is that we are almost at our goal to buy back and protect forever our latest appeal property - Lot 27 Cape Tribulation Rd!

Amongst other precious, vulnerable, rare and endangered flora and fauna – the Southern Cassowary too calls this rainforest property home. This land was at the highest threat - in the midst of our appeal another buyer appeared and risked starting a bidding war which would be disastrous for the Daintree and conservation efforts. We managed to broker a deal with the owner to take our bid at asking – even though the rival was willing to go significantly higher. Fortunately, the owner chose to protect this land and go with Rainforest Rescue, even though it meant less money in their pocket. This means that all the rainforest animals that find themselves on Lot 27 will soon be safe and protected forever.

Cassowary droppings on Lot 27 show this is a regular path on the Cassowary’s foraging journeys through this habitat. Known as the ‘rainforest gardener’, the cassowary is able to swallow seeds that are too large (and toxic) for other animals – and then when they ‘poop’ the seeds out – they are then safe and in a small enough size for the other animals to eat!

The cassowary ‘poop’ also grows trees! It is full of lots of seeds so this too helps to strongly build a rainforest.

Thank YOU for helping us support the Southern Cassowaries and their offspring, to grow up in the safest habitat possible in the Daintree rainforest. They are safer because of YOU!

Cassowary 'poop'
Cassowary 'poop'
Beautiful Lot 27 - about to be rescued!
Beautiful Lot 27 - about to be rescued!
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A Southern Cassowary
A Southern Cassowary

In 2015 Rainforest Rescue was approached by land-owner Annie S. to return fifteen hectares of old sugarcane fields back to thriving Daintree lowland rainforest. This is now known as the Nightwings Project.

In 2016 and 2017 with the help of many individuals, organisations and businesses, like YOU - we cultivated and started planting trees and revived a wetland area to draw in wildlife. Between 2018 and 2019 tens of thousands of trees were planted at NightWings to repair this damaged land.

By the project’s end, these seedlings will be flourishing between the lowland Daintree to the upland Rainforest and beyond to the coast.

We were very pleased to reveal to you around seven months ago that for the first time in over forty years an endangered Southern Cassowary was spotted here near Nightwings. This is significant as sugarcane does not attract cassowaries - rainforest species do. Since this time (around seven months ago) we had not spotted a Cassowary since.

However, just last night Joe our Land Manager wrote to say that this same Cassowary was spotted once again at Nightwings!

He writes: “We think it’s the same one as before …it’s now fully mature and looks like having established its territory there. Forty years, no sighting, then after revegetation – Bingo, Christmas in November.”

Joe claims this is a sure sign that regenerates work in bringing back wildlife especially the endangered Cassowary, to rainforest now thriving, that was once devasted.

The Southern Cassowary is a ‘keystone’ species. Through eating the fruit and pooing out the seeds of rainforest plants, it plays a vital role as the ‘rainforest gardener’. Many plants depend on the cassowary for survival. Without them, the future of the rainforest is in peril.

Southern Cassowaries are shy by nature and only pose a threat to humans and domestic animals when defending their nests or chicks, if they have become accustomed to hand feeding, or when threatened.

With your help, you have joined us to save this magnificent and little understood Australian by extending its habitat and making it safe. Thanks to you the Southern Cassowaries’ population numbers are increasing.

The Nightwings Project in Mossman QLD
The Nightwings Project in Mossman QLD
Planting Trees at Nightwings
Planting Trees at Nightwings
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Rainforest Rescue

Location: MULLUMBIMBY, NSW - Australia
Website:
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Project Leader:
Branden Barber
MULLUMBIMBY, NSW Australia
$28,932 raised of $80,000 goal
 
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