Cassowary chicks at Cassowary House, North Queensland

Great news for us here at Cassowary House, Kuranda was the return of our male
Cassowary on Nov 29 with 5 tiny stripy chicks, the most he has ever brought in, with
3 or 4 being the usual; he has been gone for almost two months so we knew
he was making a late nesting attempt. As usual very shy and wary when they
first come.

Less good is the gradual disappearance of 3 of them, so that yesterday Dec 6 he
came in with just 2 remaining, and we are very concerned. For the first time
ever I saw a cat along Black Mt Road yesterday and this isa hell of a
coincidence, just at the worst possible time when the chicks are so small and
vulnerable. Usually pythons take care of such ferals, but ironically 2 years
ago it was likely pythons that killed off the brood of 3 chicks that year, 2
huge ones arriving just as the checks were brought in.

Our creek usually makes a reasonable barrier between us and the suburban
developments further south along the road, but the bridge is an access way and
it may be that some new people have pets they are letting roam, or of course
someone may have dumped an unwanted cat in the forest.We are looking at getting
cat traps from the local Kuranda Conservation folks, but it is all a bit of a
concern. We had 3 chicks raised to fledging earlier this year and it will be
very sad if this current brood is destroyed.