The colourful but endangered southern Cassowary is one of the most recognisable icons of the Wet Tropics region.
Cassowaries are most often found in rainforest but also use woodlands, melaleuca swamps, mangroves and even beaches as food sources and as connecting habitat. Cassowaries are considered a 'keystone' species for their role in dispersing rainforest seeds and maintaining biodiversity.
Current estimates fear fewer than 1000 birds are left in the Australian wild.
Council supports the Save the Cassowary national campaign to raise public awareness of the plight of this endangered species. To find out how you can help the endangered Southern Cassowary:
Cassowaries can be aggressive and unpredictable. Avoid unnecessary risks and help protect cassowaries by following these guidelines in cassowary territory.
These simple safety tips can help protect you.
If you come face-to-face with an aggressive bird, back away slowly and put something like a tree ot a backpack between yourself and the bird, then let it go on its way.
- Never approach cassowaries. They can injure you or your pet with their large, clawed feet.
- Never approach chicks—male cassowaries will defend them.
- Never feed cassowaries—it is illegal, dangerous and has caused cassowary deaths.
- Always discard food scraps in closed bins and ensure compost bins have secure lids.
- Never stop your vehicle to look at cassowaries on the road.
- Always slow down when driving in cassowary territory.
- Always keep dogs behind fences or on a leash.
Report cassowary sightings and incidents phone: 1300 130 372. Further information visit www.ehp.qld.gov.au