Uphill Struggles: Cassowaries, Seeds, and Conservation in New Guinea

March 23, 2015
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Dr. Andrew Mack has spent years living deep in the forests of New Guinea, working with indigenous Pawai’ia trackers while undertaking the first field studies of cassowaries. One of the largest birds on earth, cassowaries may be the closest things to living dinosaurs and are secretive denizens of the rugged island of New Guinea, the third largest remaining rainforest (after the Amazon and Congo Basins). Despite their reclusive nature, these birds play a keystone role in the overall rainforest ecology by dispersing rainforest seeds that are too large for other native animals. In this seminar, he described his long-term research on cassowaries and discussed his new book, Searching for PekPek: Cassowaries and Conservation in a New Guinea Rainforest, including how he became possibly the only person in history to have used radio-transmitters to track dung.

The talk took place on March 23, 2015. It was part of the Cornell Lab’s long-running Monday Night Seminar series, a tradition established decades ago by Lab founder Dr. Arthur Allen. If you enjoyed this seminar, check this page for our list of future speakers—we’ll note which upcoming talks will be livestreamed—or come visit usin person!

See our index of archived livestreamed seminars to enjoy more talks from the Cornell Lab.

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