Native to the tropical forests of New Guinea and northeastern Australia, and particularly you can spot one in Daintree Rainforest...
Giant flightless bird.
Member of the Ratite family, like the Australian Emu and New Zealand kiwi.
#1 Cassowary, what is this ?
The 2nd heaviest and the 3rd tallest bird in the world.
An adult female can stand nearly 2 m tall and weigh up to 76 kg!
Males are much smaller, they weigh about 55 kg.
A prodigious Fruit eaters, love Cassowary Plums, Cassowary Stain Ash and fruits from a variety of other rainforest plants and trees. Fruit is swallowed whole, even items as large as bananas and apples! His stomach is like a giant fruit salad!
Very important to the rainforest because the cassowary spreads the seeds of rainforest trees. Sometimes the seeds are so large that no other animal can swallow and disperse them. Some rainforest seeds even require the cassowary digestive process to help them germinate.
Yes Cassowary poo grows trees! Keep your eyes open for cassowary scat as you walk through the forest (their droppings are full of seeds, invertebrates and plant matter).
Liberal more and parenting
Solitary birds, they come together to mate during the breeding season from May to November.
Once a female has found a mate and laid her eggs, she doesn’t want anything to do with the male and goes off, leaving him to raise the chicks on his own.
Female birds build rough nests on the ground and lay three to five eggs by different fathers…
The male cassowary incubates the eggs for about 50 days. He rarely eats or drinks during this time..! Fathers have sole responsibility for raising their chicks. Males can be very aggressive when protecting their brood
Key role: a rainforest gardener
Casoars / Daintree Discovery Center
The major threats include the loss, fragmentation and modification of habitat. Cassowaries need enough territory to maintain a genetically diverse population…but more than 80% of their prime habitat has been cleared over the last 100 years…today their population is listed as vulnerable or even endangered in some areas of Queensland (Wet tropics).
Vehicle strikes, dog attacks, human interactions, pigs are some other important threats.
If you are lucky to cross one, don’t bother it, they are very shy but when provoked, they can attack (watch out their big sharp claws out!).
Never run, they will follow you and run way faster (up to 50km/h). Keep calm, back away slowly and put something like a tree or a backpack between yourself and the bird. Let it go on its way.
Reduce your speed while driving in cassowaries' areas, rainforest needs them!