Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia

by Rainforest Rescue
Vetted
Rainforest Rescue CEO, Julian, & Land Manager Jo
Rainforest Rescue CEO, Julian, & Land Manager Jo

Thanks to you, this year has been a story full of positive action and great wins for the rainforest, ensuring the Southern Cassowary stays off the extinction list.

In September thanks to Global Giving supporters, Rainforest Rescue purchased a 27th block of prime cassowary habitat in the lowland Daintree Rainforest. Lot 32 Cape Tribulation Road, Kimberley, already had some trees cleared to create a track and pad for a new house so time was short to save the rainforest. The good news is you and fellow rainforest rescuers generously supported the efforts to save the property from development.

The protection of Lot 32 is a vital connection piece in the new Cape Kimberly Wildlife Corridor connecting Daintree National Park, Nature Reserves and World Heritage Area. With research this year finding the main limitation to growing cassowary populations as the reduction of available habitat – your support in creating more safe corridors ensures we are on track to support healthy cassowary populations in the Daintree.

Soon volunteers will begin helping Rainforest Rescue plant hundreds of seedlings to restore this saved rainforest.

First we need to block off an entrance track to the property to stop vehicles illegally entering the site and driving over the newly planted trees. A research and development project in partnership with Bridgestone has been set up to design recycled tyre bollards for use in the Daintree. The idea is to find a use for the dumped tyres we remove from rainforest properties and an environmental payback for damage caused vandals by illegally driving into the rainforest causing destruction. The prototype bollards will have their first use at Lot 32.

To view a special thank you to you from our CEO, please click here

Lot 32, Cape Tribulation Rd
Lot 32, Cape Tribulation Rd
School children showcasing Cassowary habitat
School children showcasing Cassowary habitat

World Cassowary Day is set to be bigger and louder than ever this year with not only the Rainforest Rescue team, but the entire Daintree Rainforest community, many states within Australia and the concerned global community all hosting information and events to raise funds and increase education around the endangered Southern Cassowary.

A community fun day in the Daintree itself will see many market stalls, live music, educational talks by Wet Tropics’ experts, children’s entertainment tents, Cassowary Treasure hunts, crafts, face painting and storytelling. Rainforest Rescue's Julian Gray has been invited to speak here at this local event, with business partners selling Cassowary merchandise at the markets also pledging proceeds to the 'Save the Cassowary' campaign from sales on the day.

All ages are drawn to the plight of the Cassowary and thousands of miles away from the Daintree itself, distance is proving no barrier in communicating the message of saving the endangered Southern Cassowary. Kindergarteners are joining in the spirit of World Cassowary Day by educating other school children, teachers and parents alike on facts about the Cassowary and displaying what Cassowary habitat looks like.

The contribution you have given Rainforest Rescue to date is incredibly important especially on the back of new evidence showing further support that in fact Cassowary habitat – and specifically wildlife corridors - is the main limiting factor to Cassowary population.

With only 4,000 cassowaries remaining across Australia, the greatest threat to their survival is specifically the creation of wildlife corridors to help populations move to new areas. To date you have enabled us to plant over 250,000 trees and rescued over 100 hectares of threatened Daintree rainforest in Australia, critical Cassowary habitat – Thank You so very much.

While there is a lot more habitat to save, Rainforest Rescue could not have already made such impact in the Daintree without your invaluable support.

Daintree World Cassowary Day promotion
Daintree World Cassowary Day promotion
New Nature Refuges Created to Protect Rainforest
New Nature Refuges Created to Protect Rainforest

Southern cassowary named as a priority for conservation

The southern cassowary has been added to a list of 20 birds which are identified as a priority for conservation under the Australian Threatened Species Strategy. The Australian Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, announced the addition of the southern cassowary and 15 other species to the list earlier this year. These additional 16 threatened species were identified through expert input and consultation with the scientific community.

Eleven new rainforest properties have been protected forever with Nature Refuge covenants across the Daintree lowlands.

The placement of a Nature Refuge Covenants removes all development rights from the properties, ensuring that they are protected forever. The rainforest properties are chosen for their high biodiversity value and connectivity to help create vital wildlife corridors.

The creation of wildlife corridors is vital for the future of the endangered Southern Cassowary – availability of habitat has been identified as the single most important issue impacting on Cassowary numbers. With an estimated 4,000 Cassowaries remaining we are working with the Cassowary Recovery Team to increase access to rainforest habitat for this iconic bird.

Working with the Queensland Trust for Nature three of the new Nature Refuge protected properties have been combined to create the new Milky Pine Wildlife Refuge. In addition, both the Baralba Corridor and Rainforest Rescue Nature Refuges have been significantly expanded in size.

Of the 26 rainforest properties we’ve rescued with your support, 20 have now been protected by covenants, creating five Nature Reserves. In addition, two further rainforest properties have been rescued and added to the Daintree National Park.

These actions are having a real and significant impact and wouldn’t be possible without your support.

Volunteers reforesting Cassowary Habitat
Volunteers reforesting Cassowary Habitat
Cassowary Added to Threatened Species List
Cassowary Added to Threatened Species List

Links:

Camera trap photo: cassowary attracted to red lure
Camera trap photo: cassowary attracted to red lure

Monitoring released cassowary chicks

We last reported on the release of three rehabilitated Cassowary chicks at Hudson River National Park. The birds were carrying a new technology that will enable researchers at Charles Darwin University to track them over the next few years. The tags are monitored by fixed listening stations deposited throughout the forest.

Hamish Campbell,Senior Lecturer at Charles Darwin University, reports: “The chicks were detected a week after release and all appeared to be doing fine. However, with the wet season it has not been possible to get into Hudson National Park to download the receivers. We are hoping to be able to access the receivers after the wet and check if the chicks are still in the area and are alive and well.”

Cassowary Research

We’ve published more details from Wren McLean’s research into the ecology of Cassowaries in the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest in tropical Far North Queensland. One part of Wren’s research was to use camera traps to photograph wildlife investigating brightly colored lures she set out in the forest.

“All camera traps combined provided a pool of 466 visual records from which we were able to identify 45 individual cassowaries of which 64% were adults, 18% sub-adults and 18% chicks.  Cameras provided other useful information on cassowary predators (domestic, pig-hunting and wild dogs), feral pigs and photos of three Bennetts tree kangaroos at two different locations.”

A story detailing more informationabout Wren’s research and findings is linked at the end of this report.

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!

Camera trap photo: cassowary at Baralba Reserve
Camera trap photo: cassowary at Baralba Reserve

Links:

Rainforest fruit being collected for the nursery
Rainforest fruit being collected for the nursery

Thank you for your support in helping us save the endangered Southern Cassowary.

It’s been a busy time over the past three months at the Garners Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre. The three orphaned chicks that we’ve been looking after for the past year were fit and healthy enough to release back into the rainforest a few weeks ago. The three birds were released in National Park south of the Garners Beach.

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. Just prior to their release Emily sent through the following: “All birds at the facility are doing very well. The three juveniles are in good spirits and are still awaiting their release. The two little ones are doing very well; the vet came I think it was last week to give them a routine check up and was pleased with their progress... they are increasingly eating more and more and get along extremely well.”

Small tracking devices have been attached to the young birds. Dr Hamish Campbell and Dr Graham Lauridsen will be running a three year tracking project to see where the birds roam and how long they survive. The tracking devices are small, placed on the back of the cassowary’s neck, and the batteries last between three and five years. The birds will be tracked from a transceiver located in the bush near the release site in Hull River National Park south of the Hull River. The transceiver has a range of about five kilometers. Local residents will also be on the lookout any birds with the tracking devices if they travel further afield.

Daintree Cassowary Research

Wren McLean has been undertaking research into the ecology Cassowaries in the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest. We helped support the research by supplying trap cameras which take photos when creatures pass in front of the lens. Her research surveyed 31 sites for signs of cassowaries, used attractants to lure cassowaries to camera traps, and analysed the lowland fruit species eaten by cassowaries, particularly in the lean season.

Wren found signs of cassowaries at 94% of sites surveyed which is great news. Wrens research identified the main rainforest fruit species eaten by Cassowaries. Eighteen major fruiting species were identified and five of these fruit species represented 87% of the biomass consumed by Daintree Cassowaries: Blue Quandang, Kuranda Satinash, Cassowary Plum, Beilschmieda and Cassowary Satinash. The good news is that we’re growing all the identified species in our native nursery in the Daintree and planting them in our reforestation work. So we’re ensuring a good food supply for the Daintree Cassowaries in the future.

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!

Native seedlings: future Cassowary food supply
Native seedlings: future Cassowary food supply

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Rainforest Rescue

Location: MULLUMBIMBY, NSW - Australia
Website: http:/​/​www.rainforestrescue.org.au
Project Leader:
Kaley Morrissey
Donor Care Executive
MULLUMBIMBY, NSW Australia
$21,652 raised of $80,000 goal
 
289 donations
$58,348 to go
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