Saving the cassowary

A NIMBIN-based environment group has launched a new campaign to help save the endangered cassowary.

Rainforest Information Centredirector, Ruth Rosenhek, said they started the campaign because the cassowary was on the brink of extinction, with as few as 1000remaining in rainforests in Far North Queensland.

“The cassowary, the third-largest bird in the world, is a keystone species, crucial for the preservation of rainforest diversity,” she said.

“If they go, so too will many of the rainforest trees that depend on them for their survival.

“The ancient wet tropics of Far North Queensland rely on these flightless birds to disperse and germinate seeds of at least 80 rainforest trees and another 70 plants.”

Primary threats to the cassowary are loss of habitat, being hit by vehicles and dog attacks.

Ms Rosenhek said cassowaries had a reputation for being dangerous to people and animals.

“However, it is us humans who are imperilling this beautiful bird and their forest homes. The fate of the southern cassowary in Far North Queensland rests in our hands,” she said.

For more information about the Rainforest Information Centre's Save the Cassowary campaign, visit the website at www.savethecassowary.org.au



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