The southern cassowary has been my favourite animal for quite a long time and I have been studying them to learn as much as I can. I have always loved birds. The cassowary is one of world’s most prehistoric birds and I am getting worried about the numbers of cassowaries left. There are only 1000 adult birds left in the wild in Australia.
The cassowary is so important for our rainforests. And the rainforest is so important for the cassowary. They need each other every day.
Why the cassowary is important for our rainforests
I have learnt that the cassowary is a “keystone species” which means it is essential to the environment it lives in. The cassowary has very special digestion which has evolved over 16 million years. This means that it can spread seeds unharmed in the rainforest so new trees can grow. It can also spread poisonous seeds which sounds bad but some essential plant species are poisonous. This is why the cassowary is known as nature’s gardener. About 80 plant species need the cassowary to spread their seeds around the rainforest otherwise these plants will become extinct.
Why our rainforests are important for the cassowary
Cassowaries are large animals that like to be alone. Cassowaries need large areas of rainforest to be able to survive, find food and make baby cassowaries. They take a long time to make baby cassowaries and the dad sits on the cassowary eggs for 50 days till they hatch. There is a picture below of the eggs. The dad cassowary also looks after the babies for about 18 months and teaches them how to survive in the wild. When rainforests are destroyed or not maintained this is very bad for the cassowary.
I went to Mullumbimby in February to meet Madeleine and Melissa at Rainforest Rescue. We talked about how I could help because I want to.
They said that planting lots of different types of trees to provide food and shelter for the cassowaries will help. This also means the cassowary can spread seeds from those new trees.
I want to raise money to plant 200 trees in the Daintree. Each tree costs $10 to plant and maintain for 2 years.
New trees are planted every year. It happens each May so I want to raise money for the planting this May.
I am so inspired I am donating money for 7 trees.
Even the tiniest donation counts. I chose Karma Currency to do this fundraising because it is not for profit. Paying fees are optional for this fundraising site. The only fee is from the bank to process. Every other dollar goes to Rainforest Rescue.