Homeless Cassowaries need your help!

Project Snapshot

Location: Daintree Rainforest, Queensland, Australia
Action: Habitat Restoration
Area: Two hectares
Price per tree: $10
Threatened Species: Southern Cassowary
Habitat: Lowland Tropical Rainforest
Threats: Loss of habitat
Our Partner: Reforest Now  
Total Cost of Project: $50,000

Southern Cassowary

Homeless Cassowaries urgently need your help. The number one threat to the Endangered Southern Cassowary is the loss of its rainforest habitat. We can’t let the Cassowary go extinct when the solution is so simple – planting trees to restore rainforest habitat.

Cassowaries are dependent on the fruits produced by rainforest trees, they also need their own territory, their own home to survive so we are restoring habitat for Cassowaries by planting trees in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest.

We urgently need to raise $50,000 to plant 5,000 trees in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest – that works out to just $10 a tree. This will restore rainforest land that was cleared for development and agriculture in past decades. Please donate now and help us grow new homes for Cassowaries in Daintree Lowland Rainforest.

Threat to Wildlife, Climate, People and Planet

Today only 25% of Australia’s tropical rainforests remain due to past clearing for agriculture and industrial and urban development. We know that restoring the cassowary’s habitat is the number one action we can take to improve their chances of survival.

The Southern Cassowary is a very large flightless birds and in Australia they are only found in the wet tropical rainforests of North Queensland. Due to the destruction and fragmentation of their rainforest habitats, these large charismatic birds are classified as Vulnerable to extinction.

The number of surviving Cassowaries is unstable as they are regularly killed through collisions with cars, and attacks by dogs. That’s why its vitally important that the best habitat for Cassowaries - in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest - is both protected and restored.

Other species found in Daintree Lowland Rainforest that will benefit from this project include the Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Lesser Sooty Owl, Bennett’s Tree-kangaroo, Musky Rat-kangaroo, Spotted-tailed Quoll and Boyd’s Forest Dragon.

The Daintree Lowland Rainforest is one of the oldest rainforests on Earth having survived undisturbed for over 120 million years. It holds exceptionally high biodiversity and conservation value and is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest remaining in Australia. In the 1980’s the Queensland government approved an 1,100 lot rural residential subdivision in the Daintree. This resulted in two-thirds of the lowland rainforest being excluded from protection in the Daintree National Park and Wet Tropics World Heritage Area that was declared in 1988. The development that followed has resulted in fragmentation of the rainforest with the construction of roads and building of hundreds of houses. Over the past century and particularly in the last 50 years parts of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest were also cleared for agriculture.

Our vision for the Daintree Lowland Rainforest includes revegetation of land cleared in past decades. Our project partners are Reforest Now, a non-profit organisation with experience in the development, implementation and maintenance of rainforest restoration projects. They will be supported by Daintree Life, a local organisation that will help with site preparation and in maintaining the trees to ensure they all survive and thrive.   

Solution

Through this project 5,000 trees will be planted in the Lowland Daintree Rainforest on land created in past decades for agriculture and rural residential development. It includes:

  • Seed collection, propagation and growing of the trees in a nursery
  • Site preparation through the removal of weeds
  • Digging holes with a mechanical auger and planting the 5,000 trees
  • Maintenance for three years to ensure the trees survive
  • Ongoing monitoring and camera traps are being established to determine the success of restoring habitat for Cassowaries and other wildlife
  • Documentation and reporting to donors

Half of the trees will be planted in January and the other half in May of 2019. The wet season in Far North Queensland occurs from December to May so these trees will receive regular rainforest to help them become established. Detailed reporting will occur in June.


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