Why Is The Cassowary So Important To The Daintree Rainforest?

Why Is The Cassowary So Important To The Daintree Rainforest?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 07/08/2024

Reading time: 2 mins

Cassowaries living in the Daintree play a significant role in maintaining the rainforest’s vitality.

The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world, dating back approximately 180 million years! Throughout its existence, the rainforest has been home to a variety of creatures including dinosaurs, crocodiles, and the two metre tall cassowaries. It also hosts less threatening wildlife such as butterflies, over 430 bird species, and reptiles.

Guardian of the rainforest

Cassowaries are important to the Daintree and are regarded as a keystone species as they help preserve tree diversity. They are among the few fruit-eating animals that digest the pulp and spread seeds through their dung across the rainforest. This then helps aid the growth of new trees.

Due to their ability to cover long distances, cassowaries help maintain tree diversity in the rainforest. Additionally, some seeds can only germinate after passing through a cassowary’s digestive system.

Where to find a cassowary

In Australia, cassowaries are found only in certain tropical rainforests of northeast Queensland. Some of the best places to spot them in the wild include the Daintree Rainforest, Girringun National Park, and Barron Falls National Park.

Things to do in the Daintree Rainforest

In addition to cassowary spotting, there are various activities you can enjoy while exploring this ancient rainforest.

– Daintree River

Flowing through the lush rainforest, the Daintree River offers opportunities for cruises where you can learn more about the wildlife and region. The cruises typically last 60 to 90 minutes and provide stunning scenery.

– Daintree Discovery Centre

The Daintree Discovery Centre is an excellent starting point for exploring the rainforest. You can learn about the plants and wildlife here and even have the chance to spot cassowaries along the boardwalks.

– Swimming holes

The Daintree offers several safe swimming spots, perfect for cooling off. Emmagen Creek and Mason’s Swimming Hole are popular spots with clear blue waters. There are also waterfalls like Cassowary Falls and Spring Creek Falls, offering picturesque spots for swimming and relaxation.

If you are lucky enough to encounter a cassowary in the wild, remember to keep your distance as they can be dangerous. However, if left undisturbed, they are likely to leave you alone. If you’re staying around Cairns and don’t have transportation to the Daintree, consider booking a day tour to experience the ancient rainforest in person.

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.