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The world's most dangerous bird is in danger of extinction: what it looks like and why scientists are sounding the alarm. Photo

Anna BoklajukNews
The world's most dangerous bird is in danger of extinction

Southern Casuarinas are considered the most dangerous birds in the world, at least in terms of their threat to humans. This bird is quite a sight to behold, with its razor-sharp talons, neon-blue neck, and tall brown helmet.

But Southern Casuarinas are becoming increasingly rare, as these notoriously grumpy birds are endangered. As is often the case, humans have turned out to be a greater threat to them than vice versa, writes Ifl Science.

The world's most dangerous bird is in danger of extinction: what it looks like and why scientists are sounding the alarm. Photo

In their homeland of Australia, the birds have suffered loss and fragmentation of their habitat, dog attacks, and the main cause of death for adult Casuarinas – collisions with vehicles.

As a result, scientists estimate that there are only about 4,000 adult casuarinas left in the wild, and their numbers continue to decline. They are now considered an endangered species by the Australian government. This potential loss could have a direct impact on its ecosystem, but its effects are particularly acute in the rainforest habitat where the casuarinas live. There, they are the main gardeners for maintaining diversity – they are the only species that can ingest and redistribute the seeds of more than 70 tree species with seeds too large for others to eat.

The world's most dangerous bird is in danger of extinction: what it looks like and why scientists are sounding the alarm. Photo

"You won't notice it (the seeds not dispersing) during your lifetime, but it will be noticeable in a few hundred years when we no longer have these trees with big fruits," says scientist Jax Bergersen of the casuarina recovery team.

To make sure the rainforests of the future are full of seed-filled casuarina poop, last year the Australian government created an updated national recovery plan for the species, working with indigenous peoples and conservation groups.

The world's most dangerous bird is in danger of extinction: what it looks like and why scientists are sounding the alarm. Photo

The bird conservation plan's recommendations include land acquisition to create corridors for wildlife, more effective road signs to warn drivers of casuarina habitat, and increased education for dog owners to prevent attacks. There are some doubts about the success of the plan. "All of this will require money. They can't buy land that someone doesn't want to sell," says Bergersen.

"As for safety for people, you just don't want to get too close to them. If you keep a fairly large distance from them, these flightless birds will likely stay a little further away from you. However, if you get too close, you will soon see that a provoked Casuarinas is not someone you want to be around.

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