Camera Traps – June 2022 accrued 146-cassowaries, 13-dingoes and 46-feral pigs. Against the cumulative monthly average, cassowary numbers increased by 47%, whilst dingoes fell by 59% and feral-pigs also dropped by 60%. Against June 2021, cassowaries were 80%-up, dingo numbers fell by 64% and feral-pig numbers also dropped by 61%.
Steve & Sharon from Taiga
Crinkle-Cut with Cheryl & Tony
How important are people in the protection and conservation of the natural values within their environment?
Visitors to the Daintree Rainforest are being bombarded with inaccurate information that suggests the world would be a better place without people – not all people, but those who live in special environments like the Daintree Rainforest. Indeed, a seemingly relentless campaign promotes images of utter destruction by residents whose properties occupy the road-side network between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation.
Unfortunately, they do not see the many incidents of community custodianship, dedicated to protection, conservation, revegetation and transmission of natural and cultural values to present and future generations. We can relate some positive contributions and hopefully off-set the negativity of a few unscrupulous scampaigners:
Over the last three days, Crinkle-Cut has been distraught. First he lost little Tony to predation, probably dingo. He was then separated from Cheryl, through a territorial dispute with Taiga, whilst yearlings Sharon and Steve moved onto little Cheryl. The sounds of the melee did not bode well for the one-moth-old stripey. Crinkle Cut’s plaintive call, almost like a cow’s lowing, escalated to a hoarse roar and was heard by members of our family who joined the search, but to no avail. Crinkle Cut (in the video-clips above) is a male cassowary whose territory includes an area on the northern bank of Cooper Creek including the human inhabitants’ residential dwelling and surrounds. He is one of Big Bertha’s preferred mates.
Some five-hours later, my grand-daughter, Tulli returned home from work and responded to Crinkle-Cut’s bellows by searching the near-by forest. She whistled in the manner of a young chick, hoping to get a response … and Cheryl ran out of the jungle towards her. Crinkle-Cut was some distance away and unaware that his chick had been found. Tulli then whistled the loud piercing cry of a distressed chick, which Crinkle Cut heard and came running straight towards Tulli. He was obviously happy to have been re-united with his last chick, compliments of human inhabitant help and ushered his off-spring back into the sanctuary of the forest.
It reminded me of a day many years ago when representatives of the Wilderness Society and Queensland Conservation Council came on a walk with Neil and me. We had discussed the role of humans in the environment and they reluctantly acknowledged that there may be benefits. An anguished whistling sound interrupted our discussion. It was coming from Cooper Creek, which was a few metres away from where we were sitting. Neil immediately jumped up and raced towards the sound. We couldn’t see it, but recognised the call of a distressed cassowary chick. Neil returned with a drenched cassowary chick in his arms. It was shaking and was clearly traumatised. Neil had found the chick in the jaws of a marauding pig-dog and prized it from the dog’s grasp. If not for Neil, the chick would be dead. We nursed the chick for a day and then handed it over to Parks and Wildlife staff and onto the Cassowary hospital down Mission Beach way. When it was strong enough, it was successfully re-united it with its father.
If not for Tulli yesterday, another chick would be dead. We believe that it is our function, as humans, is to protect and conserve the environment and to optimise the ecological balance and our presence on our lands keeps poachers and destroyers at bay. Kuku Yalanji traditional-owners have said it simply, “We care for Country, Country cares for us.” The ecological bonding of humans to their environment has become an essential aspect of knowing how to live within the environment and present its values. It is developed through long-term immersion within the world’s longest, surviving rainforest.
Daintree Rainforest Foundation Ltd has been registered by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and successfully entered onto the Register of Environmental Organisations. Donations made to the Daintree Rainforest Fund support the Daintree Rainforest community custodianship and are eligible for a tax deduction under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.