Tag Archives: Daintree Region Cassowary Group

Daintree Rainforest

What a beautiful day – the warmth of the sun, beautiful trees and the blue sky in the background which we appreciated all the more after the damp, gloomy weather we have recently experienced.   After checking out a couple of properties for possible acquisition by Rainforest Rescue we went for a walk along the boardwalk at Jindalba.  It is a short stroll through some lovely forest that we have visited many times because we enjoy it and it is the first National Park boardwalk along the Cape Tribulation road, only about 20 minutes north of the ferry crossing.  I must admit to hoping we would see a Cassowary there as there have been many recent sightings.
Jindalba boardwalk
Allen found this Cassowary dropping just as he got out of the car, it must have come from quite a young bird as it is only a small pile of seed – we didn’t notice many fruiting trees yesterday and this poo is mostly full of palm seed from Alexandra Palms (Archontophoenix alexandrae).   The owner of this little pile was not visible to us and we didn’t see any adults.
Cassowary dropping Jindalba

Our travels took us a little further north into the Cow Bay subdivision where a number of blocks have been purchased for conservation, by Rainforest Rescue as well as through the Daintree Rescue Program which was jointly funded by the Federal and Queensland State governments.  “Save the Cassowary”  gives some background on the Daintree Buy-back  for those who are not familiar with the history of the area.

One of the most significant conservation efforts is The Baralba Corridor Nature Refuge.  The original purchases were made by Daintree Rainforest Foundation – a small group of dedicated conservationists who raised money by holding raffles and selling tickets to tourists as they waited in line for the car ferry.   DRF merged with Rainforest Rescue in 2004 and  additional blocks have since been added to the corridor which provides a valuable link from the heights of Alexandra in the south to the Bailey’s Creek wetlands.   While we were driving along one of the roads on the edge of the corridor we saw a cassowary cross the road quite a distance ahead of us.  By the time we arrived at the point where she had walked into the forest Allen managed one quick shot.   Although the photo is poor quality there is enough detail of the head, with the distinctive casque,  for us to keep the photo on the Daintree Region Cassowary Group data base as a useful identification tool.   This particular female cassowary has been known to regularly use the Baralba Corridor for many years, the size of her casque is indicative of a great age.    This is a typical view of a cassowary, walking into the forest and disappearing from view rapidly but we were delighted to have this glimpse.

Cassowary in Baralba Corridor

While there are still blocks of land with the potential to be developed which need to be bought and conserved,  it is wonderful to see what has already been achieved through buy-back and through revegetation of previously degraded areas.

Distractions

No posts here for such a long time – my apologies to regular visitors.

My secretarial duties with Daintree Region Cassowary Group have been claiming a fair proportion of my ‘desk time’ as we try to co-ordinate a cassowary population monitoring project with CSIRO, which of course involves applying for some funding assistance.

www.daintreecassowary.org.au will give you some more information about the group’s activities as well as some facts on cassowaries.   We are also busy telling the local tour guides about the sighting submissions page so that we can start to build up a picture of cassowary movements in the Daintree area.  The last  survey of the cassowary population north of the Daintree river was carried out in 1996 so another assessment is vital.

AND We have now launched ourselves into social media with a facebook page http://www.facebook.com/cassowarydaintree

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However, it hasn’t all been hard work here.  In early March we had a holiday on North Stradbroke Island (‘Straddie’ to the locals) as part of a family reunion to celebrate the younger of my two older brothers’ 70th birthday.  We all agreed that it was fun to get together without the stress of a wedding or funeral and Straddie is well set up with a variety of accommodation to rent.  The scenery is spectacular with some wonderful walks along the cliffs, beaches and around the freshwater lakes.  We couldn’t find many small birds.  This may have been why …………

Pied Currawong

however, we particularly enjoyed the sea birds and spent a long time watching the terns diving close to the rocks – this group of Crested Tern, including some juveniles,  is taking some time to rest in the sun.

Crested Terns

And we weren’t the only ones to enjoy the cliffs, this well-muscled Eastern Grey kangaroo met us at the start of the walk at Point Lookout.  In the afternoons Eastern Greys browse on the grass around the cliffs, undisturbed by the tourists on the extensive boardwalk.  This one may have been coming in to the local cafe for a home-made gelati, these delicious frozen treats are absolutely beautiful, and there seem to be new flavours every day – such temptation!

Eastern Grey on Stradbroke Island

Although keeping an eye out for any danger even this female with her joey at foot didn’t bother hopping away when we walked quietly past.

Eastern Grey female & joey

It is 30 years since I last visited North Stradbroke Island and there are now many more houses and shops – there were only a few shacks at Point Lookout 30 years ago and now it is the most popular tourist destination.  It is, however, still a delightful place to visit and although sand mining continues at least 50% of the island has some form of environmental protection.