Effects of forest disturbance on the northern cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus) and seed dispersal in Papuan rainforest

The rainforest of New Guinea is recognised as one of the last wilderness areas in the world, but rapid development and human population growth are currently leading to high rates of deforestation and forest alteration. The northern cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus) is endemic to the lowlands of northern New Guinea. As the largest flightless bird of the island, it plays an important role as seed disperser in the forest ecosystem. This project aims to determine the impact of forest disturbance on the abundance of the species and to assess its role for the seed dispersal of rainforest plants.

Participating scientists:
Margaretha Pangau-Adam (postdoctoral researcher), Matthias Waltert, Michael Mühlenberg

Funding: Dorothea Schlözer Fellowship, University of Göttingen

Contact: mpangau1@gwdg.de