Casuarius bennetti 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Struthioniformes Casuariidae

Scientific Name: Casuarius bennetti
Species Authority: Gould, 1857
Common Name(s):
English Dwarf Cassowary
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Beehler, B., Mack, A. & Supuma, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Khwaja, N. & Ashpole, J
This species is classified as Least Concern. Recent information suggests that hunting may not be driving a significant decline as was previously thought. It is said to be heavily hunted in some areas, yet not hunted at all in others. Many uninhabited areas remain where this species is believed to be doing well and the current population is described as stable.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2013 Near Threatened (NT)
2012 Near Threatened (NT)
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Near Threatened (NT)
2000 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1994 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in New Guinea (Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea) and, presumably as a long-established introduction, on New Britain.

Countries occurrence:
Indonesia (Papua); Papua New Guinea
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 359000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3600
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as generally scarce, although locally common in north-eastern New Guinea (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Trend Justification:  There are no data on population trends; however, the species is currently thought to be stable (B. Beehler in litt. 2012). There are fewer firearms in New Guinea compared to 30 years ago, and many uninhabited areas remaining where this species is believed to be doing well (B. Beehler in litt. 2012).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: Unknown Continuing decline of mature individuals: No
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation: 100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a forest species occurring into the mountains and occasionally to the treeline at 3,600 m. It possibly undertakes altitudinal migrations in some parts of its range (A. Mack in litt. 2012). Feeds primarily on fallen fruit but also fungi, invertebrates and small vertebrates (Folch et al. 2014).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 11.3
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although probably tolerant of moderate habitat degradation, logging opens up previously inaccessible areas to hunters, with hunting thought to be unsustainable in some parts of the species's range (Johnson et al. 2004). Road and airstrip construction similarly increases the penetration of the hunting market (A. Mack in litt. 2012). Predation by pigs and dogs may be a threat to this species, but this has not yet been quantified. Despite suffering from heavy hunting pressure, it remains relatively common over a wide altitudinal range (Coates 1985, Beehler et al. 1986, A. Mack in litt. 1999, B. Beehler in litt. 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
None are known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor populations in protected areas. Quantify the effects of hunting, logging and predation by pigs and dogs. Promote community-based hunting restrictions, particularly regarding the use of guns. Research population dynamics. Prevent habitat clearance.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Casuarius bennetti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22678111A83831029. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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