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Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia

by Rainforest Rescue
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
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
Image (c) Martin Stringer
Image (c) Martin Stringer

By rescuing and regenerating the unprotected Daintree lowlands, the benefits for the endangered Cassowary continue to roll in thanks to your support!

Lot 30, Cape Tribulation Rd in the Daintree rainforest WILL be rescued! We made our goal thanks to YOU and we are now moving into the process of conveyancing. You support has meant that we have just one more property left to rescue in order to fill out this whole lower Daintree’s Cape Kimberley Wildlife Corridor which is prime cassowary habitat! This also brings the tally up to 34 Rainforest Rescue protected properties –and more to come. You make this possible and continue to increase the safety for the Cassowary’s population numbers.

The crew in the Daintree are regularly encouraged by frequent Cassowary sightings and the latest visit from a Cassowary has come from our new Nursery Manager, Marine (as pictured)!

Marine looks after the Rainforest Rescue Native Seed Nursery and at the moment she is tenderly caring for 139 different rainforest species and 10,000 seedlings! Many of which are important  food sources for the Cassowary.

Marine says: “I saw a Cassowary not long ago just wandering around the Nursery!” The propagation of seedlings, to then be planted to restore damaged rainforest, is incredibly important to bring back and secure the Cassowary’s habitat.

Here is a video from our Tree Planting this year, where over 100 volunteers helped to regenerate a stripped sugar cane field, south of the Daintree river, where a Cassowary had been seen recently for the first time in over forty years – proof YOUR support is expanding and protecting the Cassowary’s vital habitat.

Thank you so very, very much – the Cassowary continues to benefit strongly from your ongoing support.

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Earlier this month, during a tour of Lot 46 Cape Tribulation Rd, a 27-hectare (67 acre) property in the Daintree lowland rainforest that is now reclaimed and restored, we were lucky enough to stumble across some Cassowary Plums (Cerbera floribunda). Dr Robert Kooyman, Rainforest Rescue’s Scientific Advisor, led the tour and took the opportunity to educate the group about this amazing fruit & its relationship with the cassowary. Here's a short snippet of this video with Dr Kooyman:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx8cRdiDbrj/?igshid=1w1s6e5zp825x

Dr Kooyman went on to say that the cassowary’s role in dispersing fruits and, in particular, large fruits is significant as a major propagator in the rainforest. He also shared that in regards to the Daintree rainforest’s population of cassowaries, this area of Australia is ‘…one of the only areas where their population has increased.’

In fact, as we reported to you in our prior communication, for the first time in over forty years our Land Manager also saw a southern cassowary south of the Daintree river and near the NightWings property where we have – with your support – planted almost 70,000 trees back into Nature. Sightings normally of cassowaries are only found north of the River!

NightWings Rainforest is the ambitious project of re-establishing an ecosystem where there had once been rainforest. Over the last 60 years this land has been destroyed by farming and now we are recreating a functional and resilient natural ecosystem for the future. This was the site for the nearly 100 volunteers that came to help us plant close to 3,000 trees to restore this degraded rainforest. 

It’s really coming along beautifully – and now, our huge restoration work south of the Daintree river is also benefitting cassowary populations. We couldn’t do this without all of you. Thank you so much!

Volunteer Planting a Tree
Volunteer Planting a Tree

Southern cassowaries are known for their distinctive casque – the hard bump that protrudes from the top of their head. The casque is one of the trademark features of the southern cassowary, yet for decades researchers have struggled to figure out the purpose of the large growth – until now.

Ground-breaking research conducting at La Trobe University in Victoria suggests that the casque is used to regulate heat and keep the beautiful birds cool during Australia’s sweltering summers. Danielle Eastick, from the university’s Department of Ecology, Environment, and Evolution, conducted a study with 20 cassowaries across Australia and discovered that the amount of heat released from the casque increases when the temperature rises. Previous research had suggested that the casque might be used as protection from dense vegetation, as a weapon to ward off other animals, or as a means of finding a mating partner, so this certainly is a ground-breaking finding! 

Cassowaries need large areas of rainforest to survive and thrive. At Rainforest Rescue, we work to rescue, restore, and conserve critical cassowary habitat to ensure that these incredible creatures can continue to live in the Daintree. We've recently spotted a cassowary on the Nightwings property, which we have been working to restore! Learn more by reading our previous report.

Thank you to all of YOU who have supported our mission to Protect Rainforests Forever and to extend the safe habitat of these critically important animals.

The Cassowary near Nightwings
The Cassowary near Nightwings

All of us at Rainforest Rescue this past week were thrilled when Joe Reichl our Daintree Ranger and Land Manager got word that for the first time in over forty years, an endangered Southern Cassowary was spotted south of the Daintree River!

Historically, all sighted cassowaries by our team have been north of the River. However, over the past few years Rainforest Rescue has worked tirelessly with partners and individual supporters to regenerate a huge piece of what was once a stripped sugar cane field (15 Hectares) on the Nightwings property. This has been restored by planting tens of thousands of seedlings and now this lowland Daintree Rainforest property is being naturally re-joined to the upland Daintree, creating safe and important wildlife corridors and habitat for Daintree wildlife such as the Southern Cassowary.

Many trees on this land are almost three metres high (nearly 10 feet) which sees them well positioned to start creating a canopy, and bringing the rainforest back to the way it was pre cultivation.

It was here that a juvenile Southern Cassowary was seen for the first time in decades – prompting Joe to acknowledge this as a huge win for restoration:

“This is proof restoration (planting trees) really works for wildlife!”

Thank you to all of YOU who have enabled us to extend the safe habitat of these critically important creatures.

Three cassowary chicks with their dad
Three cassowary chicks with their dad

The chair of Rainforest Rescue Madeleine Faught recently visited our protected and regenerated rainforest sites in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest. She was there to monitor the progress of the seedlings we have planted to regenerate degraded rainforest and the results were great!

20180511-Nightwings-00778 © Martin Stringer (web).jpg

Image (c) Martin Stringer: Seedlings looking healthy and growing well

She was very pleased to report that everything is growing beautifully and the newest planted seedlings are starting to create roots and become firmly established in the ground. The loss of trees is now less than one percent.

Whilst there Madeleine was able to witness that three particular cassowary chicks which are very familiar to Rainforest Rescuers - we last saw them when they were very young – have now reached adolescence and are looking very strong and healthy.

This is a wonderful confirmation that thanks to you supporting our work of buying back threatened cassowary habitat along with replanting at degraded cassowary habitats properties, the safety of the populations of these rainforest guardians is increasing.

There are also more and more sighting by locals and Rainforest Rescuers alike of healthy adult Southern Cassowaries crossing the main Cape Tribulation Rd deep in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest. This is also a warming indication that the whole community is coming together more and more to reduce the speed of their driving to make sure cassowaries are top of mind when travelling through this incredible natural beauty.

Thank you so very much for saving these incredibly important creatures - they are not only surviving, but thriving thanks to YOU!

 

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Organization Information

Rainforest Rescue

Location: MULLUMBIMBY, NSW - Australia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @rainforestrescu?lang=en
Project Leader:
Kaley Morrissey
Donor Care Executive
MULLUMBIMBY, NSW Australia
$25,169 raised of $80,000 goal
 
402 donations
$54,831 to go
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