Aside from the lure of the beach, Mission’s forests are a reliable place to spot cassowaries, a blue-headed and bone-crested rainforest version of the emu, whose survival is being threatened as their habitat is carved up – estimates suggest that there are only a couple of thousand birds left in tropical Queensland (though they are also found in New Guinea and parts of Indonesia). Many larger trees rely on the cassowary to eat their fruit and distribute their seeds, meaning that the very make-up of the forest hinges on the bird’s presence. Unlike the emu, cassowaries are not at all timid and may attack if they feel threatened: if you see one, remain quiet and keep a safe distance.

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