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Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered  
Vulnerable A2cde 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Vulnerable
2008 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Medium
Land mass type shelf island
Australia
Average mass 44000 g

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 394,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 6000-15000 poor Suspected 2010
Population trend Decreasing poor -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Largest subpopulation 1001-10000 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 12.5 - - -
Population justification: No data are available for New Guinea. Garnett et al. (2011) estimated the Australian population to number 2,500 mature individuals. As such, the total population is best placed in the band 10,000-19,999 individuals, equating to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.
Trend justification: The species is suspected to be declining rapidly overall, based on the belief that it has suffered a rapid decline in Australia during the last three generations (Garnett et al. 2011).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Australia Native Extant       Yes
Indonesia Native Extant       Yes
Papua New Guinea Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Australia Coastal Wet Tropics site factsheet
Australia Daintree site factsheet
Australia Iron and McIlwraith Ranges site factsheet
Australia Paluma site factsheet
Australia Wooroonooran site factsheet
Indonesia Pulau Kobroor site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland major resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Swamp suitable resident
Savanna Dry suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 1500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching / Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting / Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting / Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Past Impact
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Past Impact
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Viral/prion-induced diseases / Dogs Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression / Trend Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation
Residential & commercial development Commercial & industrial areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Residential & commercial development Tourism & recreation areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Transportation & service corridors Roads & railroads Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Species mortality

Utilisation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Casuarius casuarius. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2014.

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

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Casuariidae (Cassowaries, Emus)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size 6000-15000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 394,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species