16 November 2012
Black Mountain Road, Queensland, Australia
A southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) feeds on the fruit of the blue quandong tree. The flightless birds grow up to two meters in height, with males weighing some 55 kg, and females 76 kg.
Cassowaries are an endangered species, with around only 1,500 left in the wild. The birds are crucial to the ancient rainforest of northern Queensland, because they carry large seeds in their stomachs for long distances. Several dozen tree species appear to rely on cassowaries alone to disperse their seeds.
The birds are under threat from habitat loss, resulting from agricultural and housing development, killings by domestic dogs, and collisions with vehicles.