email a friend
printable version
Kangaroo Island Emu Dromaius baudinianus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species was formerly found on Kangaroo Island, Australia, but is now considered Extinct. It has not been recorded since its collection in 1802, and is thought to have succumbed to hunting pressure some years before the arrival of permanent settlers in 1836.

Taxonomic source(s)
Brooks, T. 2000. Extinct species. In: BirdLife International (ed.), Threatened birds of the world, pp. 701-708. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge, U.K.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
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.

Taxonomic note
Dromaius novaehollandiae (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into D. novaehollandiae, D. ater and D. baudinianus following Christidis and Boles (1994).

Distribution and population
Dromaius baudinianus was endemic to Kangaroo Island, off South Australia, Australia (Stattersfield et al. 1998). Writing in 1837, Leigh reported that birds had not been seen for 10 years (Marchant and Higgins 1991).

Peron, who visited the island in 1802-1803 with Baudin, wrote that the species inhabited "the innermost recesses of the woods", but would visit the shoreline in the afternoon (Howchin 1926).

The species was apparently systematically hunted to extinction by a settler (Howchin 1926), although habitat alteration by fire may also have contributed to its demise (Marchant and Higgins 1991).

Howchin, W. 1926. Some references to the literature concerning the extinct emus of Kangaroo Island and elsewhere. South Australian Ornithologist 8(7): 244-253.

Jouanin, C. 1959. Les emeus de l'Expedition Baudin. L'Oiseau et la Revue Française d'Ornithologie 29: 169-203.

Marchant, S.; Higgins, P. J. 1990. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds, 1: ratites to ducks. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Parker, S. A. 1984. The extinct Kangaroo Island Emu, a hitherto-unrecognized species. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 104: 19-22.

Stattersfield, A. J.; Crosby, M. J.; Long, A. J.; Wege, D. C. 1998. Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for bird conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Brooks, T., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Dromaius baudinianus. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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 Extinct
Family Casuariidae (Cassowaries, Emus)
Species name author S. A. Parker, 1984
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species