Threatened Species Citizen Science Campaign
Data and Resources
Cassowaries in Cape York can be found:
- ‘Far North’ Cape York Peninsula (Lockerbie & McHenry Uplands) – thought to be extinct, no population estimate (data lacking), and
- ‘North’ Cape York Peninsula (McIlwraith Range & Iron Range) – no population estimate (data lacking)
They are found across the landscape from the coastal littoral rainforest and lowland gallery rainforest to the inland highland rainforest. Other habitats such as beaches, mangroves, Melaleuca swamps, and savannah woodlands are also visited and are considered important corridors that link rainforest patches. Their food preference is rainforest fruits.
This colourful comprehensive guide will let give you the tools you need to easily identify the presence of cassowaries by way of photos of:
- a chick
- full-grown adults
- distinctive identifying features
- footprints, size and shape, and
- what's in their droppings! (scat)
Myrmecodia beccarii was declared Vulnerable under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act, 1992 because its population is decreasing due to key threats (primarily habitat loss due to clearing of coastal Melaleuca forests for development). Historically, ant-plants were destroyed or removed from their habitat by plant and butterfly collectors.
The program will identify solutions to reduce threats affecting the future of the southern cassowary on Cape York, operating across all land tenures, and will include:
the establishment of an Indigenous Fire Mentoring Program to support Indigenous people in cultural fire management
holding meetings with, and providing technical support to, Indigenous land managers
engagement with non-Indigenous landholders through surveys and action plan development and on-ground works
identifying how conservation goals might be achieved
increased community participation by facilitating on-country workshops and community events
a knowledge survey and reportable sightings will also support increasing knowledge and awareness of the threats.
The southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii) occurs primarily in rainforest habitats but can also be found in woodlands, swamps, and disturbed vegetation forraging for fruits throughout the Wet Tropics. The species has been classified as endangered for some time under both the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
This plan aimed to improve the conservation status of the cassowary through a number of actions. Those actions included completing the mapping of cassowary habitat and movement corridors, minimsing the impact of road deaths and feral animals, developing cassowary local area plans, establishing a rescue, rehababilitation and release program, reasearching the genome of the cassowary population around Mission Beach, and implementing surveying and monitoring actions to increase the knowledge base on known and potentially unknown cassowary populations.