Northern Cassowaries

Cassowaries ... Ratites

Northern Cassowary

Northern CassowaryThe 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

It's binomial name Casuarius unappendiculatus, can be broken down to Casuarius is kesuari Malay for cassowary. unappendiculatus means unus, one, appendicis, appendage, -culus, diminutive, and -atus, provided with: cassowary provided with one small appendage, refering to the single wattle. Officially, there are no sub-species, however, some authors list several sub-species.

Edward Blyth first identified the Northern Cassowary from a specimen from an aviary located in Calcutta, India., in 1860.


Description

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. Males and females look alike. The male, at 37 kilograms (82 lb), is smaller than female, at 58 kilograms (130 lb). These birds are between 165–175 cm (65–69 in) in height.


Range and habitat

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 (1,600 ft).

Northern Cassowary distributionNorthern Cassowary
Breeding Population and Trends
LocationPopulationTrend
Northern Papua New GuineaUnknownDeclining
YapenUnknownDeclining
BatantaUnknownDeclining
SalawatiUnknownDeclining
WaigeoUnknownDeclining
Total2,500 to 10,000Declining

Northern CassowaryBehavior

As with other cassowaries, it is a shy and solitary bird. Their diet consists mainly of fruits and small animals. They make grunting and hissing sounds, like other cassowaries.

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

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 hungting 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.


Copyright: Wikipedia. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.org.



Please Note: The articles or images on this page are the sole property of the authors or photographers. Please contact them directly with respect to any copyright or licensing questions. Thank you.

The Avianweb strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!

Comments