A tenth of Australia’s mammals have been wiped out forever. They’re gone. And never coming back! Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species Ltd (FAME) is working to prevent further losses. Losing 126 species of native plants and animals since European settlement in 1788 is catastrophic but in 2020 we’re faced with a further 182 endangered species and 201 threatened with extinction. That’s 30 per cent of what remains.
Established in 1993, FAME is an independent not-for-profit deductible gift recipient (DGR) organisation that seeks funds for on-ground conservation projects. FAME is dedicated to helping Australian species who are most at risk of extinction, like the flightless southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii). Also known as the double-wattled cassowary, Australian cassowary or two-wattled cassowary, they are a keystone species as they act as ‘rainforest gardeners.’ Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999), numbers for the world’s third largest bird are looking grim throughout Queensland’s rainforests.
Studies undertaken by scientists associated with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have estimated numbers in the mere thousands. Feral pigs cause massive disturbances in the rainforests and eat cassowary eggs, destroy nests and compete for fallen fruit. Other menaces include unleashed and wild dogs, along with vehicle strikes. However, the number one factor is the loss of habitat.
FAME’s partnership with ReForest Now and donorship support is seeing the implementation of vital habitat restoration. The replanting of thousands of rainforest trees is restoring lowland tropical rainforest for southern cassowaries to once again thrive in.
“Cassowaries need our help to recover and restoring habitat is one of the best things we can do for this amazing bird,” said FAME CEO Tracy McNamara.