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Philatelic Bureau of PNG
P.O. Box 1
Boroko
National Capital District
Papua New Guinea

Phone: (675) 300 3745

Fax: (675) 323 3045

 

  Email:philatelic@postpng.com.pg
 
 
 

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CASSOWARIES of Papua New Guniea -
(last updated 7th September, 2011)

 


Flightless Feathered Family
The cassowaries are ratites, very large flightless birds in the genus Casuarius native to the tropical forests of Papua New Guinea, nearby islands and northeastern Australia.[2] There are three extant species recognized today.

The most common of these, the Southern Cassowary, is the third tallest and second heaviest living bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu.

Cassowaries (from the Malay name kesuari)[3] are part of the ratite group, which also includes the Emu, rheas, ostriches, and kiwis, and the extinct moas and elephant birds.


cassowaries of png


The other two species are the Northern Cassowary, Casuarius unappendiculatus and Dwarf Cassowary, Casuarius bennetti. They are also found in Papua New Guinea.

Of the three species of cassowary, the southern, or double-wattled, cassowary Casuarius casuarius is the largest and probably most well known.

It was first brought from New Guinea to Europe in 1597 by Dutch traders and gets one of its names from the bright red, fleshy pouches of skin (wattles) that hang from its throat.

The casque is bladelike and brownish, and the head, neck, and throat are featherless so bright blue skin can be seen. This species lives in the New Guinea lowland rain forests and is slightly less common in northern Queensland, Australia.

Reproduction
Generally solitary birds, cassowaries come together only during the breeding season. Reproduction occurs during the dry season of June to October, when the food supply is greatest and when chicks have the best chance of survival. During this time the female lays three to five light green eggs in a nest that the male has constructed.

Once the female has laid her eggs, she leaves the male in search of another male with whom she may repeat the courtship process. She plays no part in incubating or in rearing of the chicks. Incubation is carried out entirely by the male for about 50 days.

The brown, striped chicks are able to follow the male around in search of food several hours after hatching. The male stays with the chicks for approximately nine months protecting them from predators and teaching them to find food on their own.

Relationship with People
Cassowaries are very important to the native people of New Guinea both economically and ritually. Cassowaries have been traded for pigs and even as brideprice for a wife and compensation payment especially in the highlands provinces .

Some tribes hunt them for their meat which is considered a delicacy. They use the feathers to decorate headdresses, and the feather quills for earrings. The sharp claws are often placed at the tips of arrows, while the strong leg bones are used as daggers.

For many native people, cassowaries are full of legends and mystical powers. Some tribes believe that cassowaries are reincarnations of female ancestors, while others believe that the cassowary is the primal mother. These tribes do not hunt or deal in trade with cassowaries.

Conservation
Although none of the three species of cassowary are globally threatened, all are suffering from loss of habitat.

Their strict ecological needs mean that they are especially vulnerable to shrinking habitats. As rainforests are cleared, cassowaries are forced from one forest to another, often crossing roads where they are in danger of being hit by passing cars. Introduced feral pigs and dogs prey often upon chicks. In New Guinea, an increase in the price of cassowary feathers by the native people, has led to an increase in hunting of the cassowary.

 

Stamp Set
Details
 
k1_05 k1_05
k5 k7
   

A Southern Cassowary ‘Casuarius casuarius’

K1.05 - Lone weaned chick feeding
- Southern Cassowary

K1.05 - Newly weaned chicks feeding
- Southern Cassowary

K5.00 - An adult feeding - Southern Cassowary

K7.00 - Head detailed - Southern Cassowary

Retail price
K14.10
 
 
Souvenir Sheet
Details
 
souvenir sheet

K10.00 - Head image of a Southern Cassowary
‘Casuarius casuarius’

Retail Value
K10.00
 
 
Souvenir Sheetlet
Details
 
sheetlet

A Southern Cassowary ‘Casuarius casuarius’

K1.05
- View of head & shoulder of Southern Cassowary

K1.05 - Back hump of Southern Cassowary

K5.00 - Full view of chick of Southern Cassowary

K7.00 - Full view of legs of Southern Cassowary

Retail Value
K14.10
 
 
First Day Cover - Stampset
First Day Cover - Souvenir Sheet
 
fdc_sset
fdc_ssht
Retail Value - K16.00
Retail Value - K12.00
 
 
First Day Cover - Sheetlet
Stamp Pack
 
fdc_shtlt
stamp pack
Retail Value - K16.00
Retail Value - K16.00
 
 
TECHNICAL DETAILS:
Stamp Set:
  Set - 42.58mm x 28.45mm
Denomination:
 
K1.05, K1.05, K5.00 & K7.00
Souvenir Sheet; K10.00
Sheetlet; K14.10
Quantity Printed:
 
150, 000 Stamps
Sheet Contents:
 
25 Stamps
Format:
 
Vertical
Perforation:
 
2mm
Colours:
 
4 Colour Process
Paper:
  102 gsm
Gum:
  Unwatered mark, PVA Gummed
Printing Technique:
  Multi Colour Offset Lithography
Designer:
  Jane Kama Wena
PostPNG - Philatelic Production
Printer:
  Southern Colour Print Ltd. NZ
Issue Date:
  25th August, 2011
Withdrawal Date:
  25th February, 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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PO Box 2 Boroko 111, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea

Phone: (675) 300 3714   Fax: (675) 325 6145   Email: customercare@postpng.com.pg