- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.7. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
Habitat and Ecology
Life History and Behavior
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
A village based survey has been connducted in Papua New Guinea investigating sustainability of wildlife capture and trade10. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey distribution of this and C. casuarius in Vogelkop. Gather demographic data on the species to inform sustainable harvest calculations. Research and quantify the effects of hunting, and use this information to inform community-based wildlife management providing local communities with sustainable catch quotas12. Research and quantify the effects of logging. Survey extensive areas through discussion with local hunters. Develop a repeatable monitoring technique in protected areas. Monitor populations in protected areas. Campaign for non-hunting protected areas in Papua New Guinea such as April-Saulemei or Ramu lowlands. Use this species as a figurehead for establishing ecotourism-funded protected areas. Liaise with Australian research and action on C. casuarius.
The Northern Cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus) also known as the Single (One)-wattled Cassowary  or Gold(en)-neck(ed) Cassowary, is a large, stocky flightless bird.
Taxonomy[edit source | edit]
Edward Blyth first identified the Northern Cassowary from a specimen from an aviary located in Calcutta, India, in 1860. The genus name Casuarius is derived from the Malay word kesuari "cassowary", while the species name unappendiculatus refers to the species' single wattle. Officially, there are no subspecies, though some authors list several subspecies.
Description[edit source | edit]
It has hard and stiff black plumage, blue facial skin and a casque on top of the head. It has a bright red or yellow colored neck and wattle. The feet are huge and strong with long, dagger-like claw on its inner toe. The sexes are similar. The male, at 30 to 37 kg (66 to 82 lb), is smaller than female, at an average of 58 kg (128 lb), making it the world's third heaviest living bird species after the Ostrich and the similarly-sized Southern Cassowary. These birds measure 149 cm (4.9 ft) long and stand 1.5–1.8 m (4.9–5.9 ft) in height. Compared to the Southern Cassowary, the Northern Cassowary has a slightly shorter bill, at 12 to 13.7 cm (4.7 to 5.4 in), but a slightly longer tarsal length, at 28 to 33.2 cm (11 to 13.1 in).
Phylogeny[edit source | edit]
Casuariidae is the family of the Northern Cassowary. There are only four members of this family, three of them are Cassowaries, and the other member is the only remaining species of Emu. As you can probably guess from the above information, all four species of bird are quite similar. Emus were formerly classified in a different family, until it was decided that they are alike enough to the Cassowaries that they could be classified in the same family. All four members of the Casuariidae family are large and also flightless birds. The Northern Cassowary has an analogous feature with the Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri). The Northern Cassowary and the Emperor Penguin are indeed from separate families, though both of them possess wings, but incidentally cannot fly. The structure is the same: a forearm and finger-like bones that are covered by their wing. Although the two species are incredibly dissimilar, this similarity between them serves the same function. The Northern Cassowary and the Emu also share homologous features. For example, both the Northern Cassowary and the Emu have a blue patch of colour on their face/neck, but the functions of these differ. The Emu’s patch is of a paler colour and is used as a form of camouflage where it is located. The Northern Cassowary’s patch of blue is brighter, and is used for attracting mates.
Range and habitat[edit source | edit]
The Northern Cassowary is distributed and endemic to coastal swamp and lowland rainforests of northern New Guinea and the islands of Yapen, Batanta and Salawati. They prefer elevations below 490 m (1,610 ft).
|Northern Papua New Guinea||Unknown||Declining|
|Total||2,500 to 10,000||Declining|
Behaviour[edit source | edit]
In breeding season, the polygamous female lays three to five green eggs on a well camouflaged nest prepared by male, she leaves the nest and eggs to find another mate. The male raises the chicks alone for about nine months.
Conservation[edit source | edit]
Due to ongoing habitat lost and overhunting in some areas, the Northern Cassowary is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with hunting being the biggest threat. Native people use the bones and eggs, and take the chicks to be raised for meat. As logging opens up more areas of the forest, hunting will be more of a problem. Their occurrence range is 186,000 km2 (72,000 sq mi) and a 2000 estimate placed their numbers at 9300.
Gallery[edit source | edit]
Notes[edit source | edit]
- BirdLife International (2012). "Casuarius unappendiculatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- Davies, S. J. J. F. (2003)
- Gotch, A. F. (1995)
- Brands, S. (2008)
- Clements, J (2007)
- BirdLife International (2008)(a)
References[edit source | edit]
- BirdLife International (2008). "Northern Cassowary - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Data Zone. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
- Brands, Sheila (14 August 2008). "Systema Naturae 2000 / Classification, Casuarius unappendiculatus". Project: The Taxonomicon. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
- Clements, James (2007). The Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World (6 ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4501-9.
- Davies, S.J.J.F. (2003). "Cassowaries". In Hutchins, Michael. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. 8 Birds I Tinamous and Ratites to Hoatzins (2 ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. pp. 75–77, 80. ISBN 0-7876-5784-0.
- Gotch, A.F. (1995) . "Cassowaries". Latin Names Explained. A Guide to the Scientific Classifications of Reptiles, Birds & Mammals. London: Facts on File. pp. 178–179. ISBN 0-8160-3377-3.