Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius)
Mission Beach, Australia.
Image credit: © Randy Floyd via Flickr. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the artist.
Order: Struthioniformes — cassowaries, emus, ostriches, rheas, kiwis, tinamous
Family: Casuariidae — cassowaries, emus
Species: Casuarius casuarius — Southern Cassowary
Subspecies: C. b. bennetti
|Distribution & Status
|Behavior & Ecology
Population in Wild
|Reproduction & Development
Age at Independence
Typical Life Expectancy
For detailed information, click the tabs at the top of this page.
© 2017-2020 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. IUCN Status updated Nov 2020. Southern Cassowary population estimate updated Nov 2020.
How to cite: Cassowary (Casuarius spp.) Fact Sheet. c2017-2020. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/cassowary
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)
Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note about citations used in this fact sheet: Some information in this fact sheet is reported only for certain cassowary species. These facts are noted:
We wish to thank Dr. Andrew L. Mack and Ms. Nicole LaGreco for providing expert content review of this fact sheet.
Dr. Andrew L. Mack is a conservation biologist with extensive experience working to protect tropical birds in Papua New Guinea, including cassowaries from overhunting. From 1990-1993, he conducted fieldwork with cassowaries to investigate their diet and ecological role in New Guinea rainforests. Dr. Mack has also published research on the cassowary's ability to produce low frequency vocalizations.
Dr. Mack is a past Director of the IndoPacific Conservation Alliance, and has held positions with Conservation International and Wildlife Conservation Society. He is the author of Searching for Pekpek: Cassowaries and Conservation in the New Guinea Rainforest.
For more information on Dr. Mack’s career, academic research, and conservation projects, visit cassowaryconservation.com.
Nicole LaGreco, an Animal Care Manager with the San Diego Zoo’s Avian Propagation Center, has made significant contributions to cassowary zoo management manuals, including Biggs (2013), and several husbandry workshops. She serves on the Struthioniformes steering committee as well as the steering committee of the Avian Scientific Advisory Group, which promotes excellence in bird care and conservation among Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions.
Ms. LaGreco first became involved with cassowaries at Zoo Atlanta. While preparing for an exhibit, she learned there was no studbook. With the encouragement of her curator, she applied to become the first studbook keeper. Ms. LaGreco has held the North American Regional Studbook for 13 years and the International Studbook for 4 years (as of 2017).