It's world Cassowary Day, celebrating those big, fantastic dinosaur-like birds that we all know and love. The Cassowary, found in the wet tropics of Far North Queensland and known by varying names including Goondye, Gunduy or Gundulu, have an ancient connection to these regions and the people that have inhabited them for thousands of year’s the cassowary is culturally significant to the traditional owners of the tropical rainforests. It is integral to their culture, customs and values, appearing in important traditional stories, ceremonies  Dancing.

Rainforest Reserves Australia and partners at Fogarty Park, Cairns .The event will include stalls, talks and a rainforest creatures parade.

Talks will focus on the habitat of the cassowary, where cassowaries live, what they eat, what they do when they are walking through the rainforest as well as the cultural significance, history and biology of these unique birds.

Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) is a large, flightless bird with impressive coloring and strong, dinosaur-like feet.

While the Southern Cassowary is found in Papua New Guinea and surrounding islands, one subspecies – Casuarius casuarius johnsonii – lives in Australia, mostly in the dense, tropical World Heritage listed Wet Tropics rainforests which include the world's oldest continuously surviving rainforests. Cassowary numbers in Australia plummeted until World Heritage listing of the rainforests in 1988. Current population estimates for cassowaries in Australia are just 4000 and habitat loss, car strikes and dog attacks continue to threaten the species. While the World Heritage Area has been critical in halting the decline, cassowaries use other surrounding areas, including on private lands and roadways. Working with people in and out the World Heritage Area is vital to the survival of these magnificent birds.

Not only are cassowaries critical to the survival of the rainforest because they spread the seeds of the unique rainforest trees, but by protecting their home, we protect the homes of many other unique and endangered animals including Tree Kangaroos, Spectacled Flying Foxes and Mahogany Gliders. Not to mention the extremely ancient plant families found nowhere else on Earth.

Still this place, and these creatures, remain unknown to those not familiar with this unique part of the world. To protect Cassowaries and their World Heritage home, we need the whole world to know about them, so on September 26 - World Cassowary Day - can you help make the magnificent Cassowary famous.

About the Author: Sidra Sarwer is a student of Environmental Sciences at GC Women University Sialkot.