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Casuarius bennetti

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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

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Beehler, B., Mack, A. & Supuma, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A. & Khwaja, N.
Justification:
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it is declining moderately rapidly as a result of increasing hunting pressure and habitat degradation. However, recent information suggests that hunting may not be driving as significant a decline as was thought. If this is confirmed, the species may warrant downlisting to Least Concern.

History:
2012 Near Threatened

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Casuarius bennetti occurs in New Guinea (Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea) and, presumably as a long-established introduction, on New Britain. It is judged to have a substantial population and to be declining more slowly than the other larger and more lowland cassowaries Casuarius spp.

Countries:
Native:
Indonesia; Papua New Guinea
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).
Population Trend: Decreasing

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).

Systems: Terrestrial

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 2013. Casuarius bennetti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 September 2014.
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