Northern Cassowary

The Northern Cassowary, Casuarius unappendiculatus, also known as the Single-wattled Cassowary or Gold(en)-neck(ed) Cassowary, is a large, stocky flightless bird with a hard and stiff black plumage, blue facial skin and a casque on top of the head. It has a bright red or yellow colored neck and wattle. The feet are huge and strong with long, dagger-like claw on its inner toe. Both sexes are similar. The male, at 37 kg (81 lbs), is smaller than female, at 37 kg (128 lbs). These birds often exceed 1.5 m (5 ft) in height.

As with other cassowaries, it is a shy and solitary bird. The Northern Cassowary is distributed and endemic to coastal swamp and rainforests of northern New Guinea. The diet consists mainly of fruits and small animals.

In breeding season, the polygamous female lays three to five green eggs on a well camouflaged nest prepared by male, she leaves the nest and eggs to find another mate. The male raises the chicks alone for about nine months.

Due to ongoing habitat lost and overhunting in some areas, the Northern Cassowary is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.



  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is vulnerable

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