Save the Cassowary from Extinction in Australia

by Rainforest Rescue
Vetted
Juvenile cassowaries - Garner
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
Teenage cassowary checking out the planting
Teenage cassowary checking out the planting

Your donations have been restoring endangered southern cassowary habitat in the Daintree National Park in Far Northern Queensland.

Thanks to your support we recently held two tree planting days with volunteers travelling from far and wide to participate in our annual community weekend.

The Saturday event was a very significant day for Rainforest Rescue – we begun planting the final 2000 trees on Lot 46 Cape Tribulation Road. This was the culmination of over five years of hard work and 37,000 trees planted. Our 26 volunteers powered hard and planted 1030 trees. The final thousand are currently being planted by our Daintree crew.

On Sunday 32 adult and four kids planted 1151 trees – this was also at significant location – we were actually planting over an old gravel road dating from the days of the Daintree Blockade (1983-4) that cut through the Daintree National Park and its rainforest. This road was left abandoned to the weeds after a new bitumen road was created on a different route.

Our ambitious goal to plant 3000 trees was unfortunately beaten by the energy-sapping heat and a sun that refused to stay behind the clouds!

Since these trees were planted at the end of May the seedling nurturing rain has not stopped. Approximately one foot of rain has fallen in the Daintree rainforest since the planting. This means the trees are very healthy, with 100% of all seedlings surviving. “They are looking great!” according to the Daintree Land Manager Joe Reichl.

Thank you your generous support means the rainforest garden, the endangered southern cassowary now has more food trees and their wildlife corridors have been extended to connect protected rainforest with each other.

Day 1 : some of the plantings
Day 1 : some of the plantings
Holes were dug in advance to save volunteer backs!
Holes were dug in advance to save volunteer backs!
Cassowary foot print - it visited the night before
Cassowary foot print - it visited the night before
Planting a cassowary food tree
Planting a cassowary food tree
Volunteer wildlife corridor tree planters
Volunteer wildlife corridor tree planters
some of the empties seedling pots!
some of the empties seedling pots!
Chicks in care are growing larger by the day
Chicks in care are growing larger by the day

It has now been four months since three cassowary chicks came into our care at the Cassowary Rehabilitation centre.

The chicks are rapidly growing and now eat around the equivalent of a two gallon bucket of fruit twice a day! Their food intact has nearly doubled in three months.

Fortunately your generous donations have enabled us to purchase a fridge which means we can now buy food in bulk – leading to considerable saving. Thank you.

Our carer Emily has said:

“I just wanted to let you know that the fridge is working wonderfully. I am now able to buy the fruit in bulk which is going to save a good deal of money.

I have worked it out and calculated that I am saving roughly $50 - $70 dollars a week so far on fruit, buying it in bulk rather than in loose quantities each day. Imagine how much I’ll save when the chicks are larger!”

Emily’s resourcefulness has also lead to other savings – she has now secured fgive-away not-quite perfect bananas from a local grower.

After a recent vet check-in we are also adding high quality dog biscuits into their food to provide a higher quality protein source.

After his visit Graham the vet, reported “They are all very bright and alert, doing very usual cassowary behaviour.

“One is growing faster than its sibling so we believe it might be a female. I will be able to confirm this at my next check up”.

Thank you for support in helping us care for these chicks. The southern cassowary is endangered in Australia and its distribution is limited to two small pockets of far north Queensland in the Wet Tropics. We are doing everything we can to increase the cassowary’s chance of survival.

a rare photo - all three chicks standing still
a rare photo - all three chicks standing still
the siblings
the siblings
two of the cassowary chicks in care
two of the cassowary chicks in care

Rainforest Rescue is currently caring for three orphan cassowary chicks are in care at our Garners Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Recovery Centre at Mission Beach, Far North Queensland, Australia.

Two of the chicks have been in care since 11 October when they were found wandering down a road in south Mission Beach without their father. It is believed he was killed in a dog attack.

The third chick came into care on 16 November when it was approx. one month old after being struck by a vehicle. The chick was initially unable to walk, and was found to have a fractured tailbone. Under the care of Environmental Protection rangers and the Tully Vets its condition improved steadily and it is now able to walk, and has been transferred to the Centre for ongoing care.

All three chicks are steadily improving and their appetite is growing daily! It is expected they will be in care at the Centre for approximately 12 months before they can be returned to the wild.

These chicks represent the future of the endangered southern cassowary population.

All costs associated with raring and rehabilitating these chicks (and all birds taken into care at the Centre) is funded by Rainforest Rescue – this includes food, vet bills, carer costs and the Centre’s maintenance.

It costs $36 to feed and care for one orphaned cassowary for one day. Please support the rehabilitation of these chicks so they can return to the wild.

looking for his puppa
looking for his puppa
Cassowary carer
Cassowary carer
Cassowary enclosure for when the chicks have grown
Cassowary enclosure for when the chicks have grown
Before weeds are removed
Before weeds are removed

Locals couldn’t remember the last time Wongaling Creek flowed, but in collaboration with Girringun Aboriginal Corporation, we’ve completed the Wongaling Wetland Cassowary Corridor restoration project and the creek is now flowing again!

The Djiru Native Title Land at Mission Beach was choked with water weeds, guinea grass, lantana and Singapore daisy, and surrounded by urbanisation and development. The land was prioritised for restoration after it was identified as key cassowary habitat by the Traditional Owners.

The project also employed and trained Djiru Traditional Owners, many of whom had been displaced by Mission Beach’s rapid development and soaring property prices.

“The Girringun nursery and restoration team and the Djiru restoration team thank you for your support to help heal our country,” said Nina Dawson, Restoration Project Coordinator.

 

What we've achieved together:

  • Removal of invasive Singapore daisy that had clogged the creek and prevented native species growth
  • 1,500 Cassowary rainforest trees planted
  • Seed collection of cassowary food trees to be grown in the Girringun nursery
  • Training of Djiru people – plant identification, seed collection and restoration and propagation techniques
  • Wongaling Creek flowing again
Site 1 after weed removal
Site 1 after weed removal
Dijiru and Girringun crew
Dijiru and Girringun crew
 

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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
$21,662 raised of $80,000 goal
 
290 donations
$58,338 to go
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