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Southern Cassowary

Ready-made fertiliser!

Download fact sheet (0.18MB PDF)

The Cassowary's gentle gut ensures that the seeds of 150 rainforest plants are dispersed widely and undamaged.

Description: Cassowaries are large, stocky birds with a tough projection on the top of their heads called a ‘casque’. This protects the bird from low branches and vines when moving through the forest. The bird’s plumage is black and coarse. There are vivid reds and blues on the Cassowary’s head.

Diet: Cassowaries are herbivores and eat mostly fruit.

In the wild: When cornered or protecting chicks, Cassowaries will lash out with both feet at once and can injure—or sometimes kill—dogs or humans with the large daggershaped claws on the inside toe on each foot.

Threats: Habitat destruction is a major threat to the Cassowary. Their shrinking habitat has meant they are coming into conflict with humans, where both Cassowaries and humans have been killed.

Saving wildlife together: Perth Zoo has partnered with Rainforest Rescue and the Zoo and Aquarium Association to save the cassowary. 

Find out how you can help.

Did you know?

Cassowaries can run up to 50 km/h.

Main Lake
Other name
Double-wattled Cassowary
Scientific name
Casuarius casuarius
Conservation status
Body length
1.5–1.75 m
60–70 kg
50 days
Number of eggs
Northern Queensland

From the blog

Where you can find me

Where you can find me

Map of Perth Zoo highlighting the Cassowaries and Tree Kangaroos