Camera Traps – November 2023 accrued 108-cassowaries, 35-dingoes and 145-feral pigs.  Against the cumulative monthly average, cassowary numbers rose by 65%, whilst dingo numbers fell by 13% and feral-pig numbers dropped by 98%.  Against November 2022, cassowary sightings increased by 186%, dingo numbers grew by 67% and feral-pig sightings also increased by 104%.

Image highlights from Camera Traps – November 2023

This long-term Daintree Rainforest Camera Trap Project is maintained to publicly inform Australian governments and their agencies of the dangers that threaten the effective transmission of World Heritage values to future generations.

Feral-pigs adversely affect the federally declared Endangered Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii) through predation, habitat degradation, competition and disease transmission and in 2001, were formally listed as a key threatening process under section 168 of the EPBC Act in 2002. This listing initiated the development of the Threat abatement plan for predation, habitat degradation, competition and disease transmission by feral pigs (Sus scrofa) which was made in 2005 and reviewed in 2011 and again in 2017.  A Commonwealth agency must not take any action that contravenes a threat abatement plan and if a threat abatement plan applies outside Commonwealth areas in a particular State, the Commonwealth must seek the co‑operation of the State with a view to implementing the plan jointly to the extent to which the plan applies in the State.

Within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, the overarching goal of this threat abatement plan is to improve protection for Southern Cassowaries from feral pigs, but formal scientific opinion holds, that as feral-pigs are so widely established, eradication from Australia is not possible with current resources and techniques and it is unlikely to be possible in the near future.

These Daintree Rainforest Camera Trap Reports remind recipient agencies that beneath a conservation blanket of unintended legislative protection, feral-pigs massively out-number Endangered Southern Cassowaries.  Dingoes are also shown to predate upon feral-pigs, but even more importantly, displace feral pigs through fear-of-predation from areas of cassowary habitat where they are more vulnerable to dingo attack.  Within the State of Queensland, the Dingo is a declared category 3, 4, 5 and 6 Restricted Invasive Animal under the Biosecurity Act 2014 and prohibited from being kept in the environment.

Cassowary capers

Taiga with his three new hatchlings:  Larry, Curly & Mo!

The last footage of Crinkle Cut with his three chicks safely in tow

Tragically, Crinkle Cut lost one of his & Delilah’s three chicks

Whether this chick deliberately lay down for an ambush on the blind-side of the rise or unintentionally fell-over, attacking the sibling in retaliation … is a classic TK manoeuvre!

Manu checking out the camera trap

Manu & one of either Mickey or Leo – two other chicks from this brood were taken

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.