This newly-split species is suspected to be undergoing a rapid decline over three generations (50 years) given the apparent severity of a variety of threats including hunting for feathers and food, egg collection and habitat loss and degradation. It has therefore been listed as Vulnerable, but better information on population trends and the scope and severity of threats is highly desirable.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
Struthio camelus and S. molybdophanes (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as S. camelus following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).
Male 210-275cm, 100-156kg, Female 175-190cm, 90-110kg. Huge flightless bird with massive bare legs and long bare neck and head. Loose plumage is solidly black in the male apart from the bright white tail and small wings. Females are dark brown. Similar spp. to S. camelus but bare areas are blue-grey, eyes are pale grey-brown and the plumage is blacker in the male. The female is more similar to S. camelus, but always has blue-grey eyes.
Ash, J.; Atkins, J. 2009. Birds of Ethiopia and Eritrea: an atlas of distribution. Christopher Helm, London.
Davies, S. 2002. Ratites and Tinamous. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A.; Sargatal, J. 1992. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 1: Ostrich to Ducks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 June 2012).
Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species
Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Martin, R, Taylor, J. & Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Struthio molybdophanes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/08/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/08/2015.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
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|Current IUCN Red List category||Vulnerable|
|Species name author||Reichenow, 1883|
|Population size||Unknown mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||1,080,000 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|