What is the rarest animal in the Daintree Rainforest?

What is the rarest animal in the Daintree Rainforest?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 08/08/2023

Reading time: 3 mins

The Daintree Rainforest is home to over 400 different animal species including mammals, reptiles, and birds.

The Daintree Rainforest has some of the rarest and most unique animals that you can find in Australia. But the rarest animal you can find in the Daintree Rainforest is the southern cassowary.

These birds are known to be the guardians of the Daintree Rainforest as they play a vital role in scattering seeds across the rainforest.

What does the cassowary look like?

You wouldn’t be able to miss this tall two-metre, blue and black bird which is the third largest bird in the world. The cassowary has a blue head and neck with a casque, red wattles, while the body has thick, long black feathers.


Can the cassowary fly?

The cassowary cannot fly, but they can run extremely fast and jump almost two metres high. Cassowaries can run about 50 kilometres per hour, the same speed as an emu!

Are cassowaries dangerous?

Cassowaries are considered to be the world’s most dangerous bird and one of the most dangerous animals. What makes them so dangerous is a claw on the inner toe that is about 12 centimetres long. So, if they feel threatened and feel the need to attack, they will kick. They’ll likely charge at you first before kicking.

The last thing you or any of us will want to encounter is an angry cassowary! If you’re lucky enough to see one in the rainforest, keep your distance from them.

What other rare animals are in the Daintree Rainforest?

With hundreds of different animals living in the Daintree Rainforest, there are a few other animals that are rare.

Musky rat-kangaroo

Musky rat-kangaroos are brown and travel across the floor like rabbits. These creatures have possum-like features, such as a large toe that helps them climb trees and a curled tail to help with stabilisation.

If you want to spot the smallest kangaroo in the world, keep an eye out for them during the late morning or early afternoon when they’re out looking for a bite to eat.

Boyd’s forest dragon

These forest dragons can be extremely hard to spot, but certainly rewarding when you see one. They can be hard as they are really good at camouflaging themselves to avoid any predators.

You might be able to spot one of these on tree trunks about eye level.

Buff-breasted paradise kingfisher

These very bright, colourful little birds can usually be seen in the trees or sometimes on the floor to find food. Most of these kingfishers have a yellow chest, blue wings, and a bright red beak.

If you want to find these rare animals in the Daintree (even crocodiles in the river), a tour guide can be the most helpful. Joining a tour, the tour guides are likely to know where to find these rare animals scattered throughout the rainforest.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.