Southern cassowary, Casuarius casuarius johnsonii -Threatened Species Day fact sheet
Commonwealth: Endangered (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999)
Queensland: Wet Tropics population: Endangered, Cape York populations: Vulnerable (Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992)
What does it look like?
The cassowary is a large, colourful and flightless bird. The female is slightly larger than the male, weighing up to 75 kilograms and growing as tall as 170 centimetres. It has a helmet like structure on the top of its head, known as a casque and draping shiny black plumage but no tail. Its feathers differ from other birds as the quill splits in two. The naked skin around its neck is brilliant blue, with two red wattles hanging from the front. Each well-muscled leg has three toes, with the inside toe bearing a large dagger-shaped claw that can be used in defence. For such a large, striking bird, it blends remarkably well into rainforest.
- Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. 2002. Recovery plan for the southern cassowary Casuarius casuarius johnsonii 2001-2005 . Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Brisbane
- Wet Tropics plants and animals: Cassowary
- Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service: Cassowary