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Cassowaries: Casuaridae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Southern Cassowary (casuarius Casuarius): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CASSOWARIES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

SOUTHERN CASSOWARY (Casuarius casuarius): SPECIES ACCOUNT

Cassowaries are found in northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, and surrounding islands.


Cassowaries live in rainforest, ranging from lowland swamp forests to mountainous forests.


Cassowaries are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and flesh. Their diet consists mainly of fruit, but they will also eat lizards, snakes, small marsupials (animals that have a pouch), and other birds.

Humans have hunted Cassowaries for hundreds of years for their meat and feathers. Hunting cassowaries is now illegal in Australia. They do not breed well in captivity and there are only about forty cassowaries in Australian zoos and wildlife parks.


The dwarf cassowary is listed by IUCN as Near Threatened, not currently threatened, but could become so. The southern cassowary and northern cassowary are listed by IUCN as Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild, due to rapidly declining populations. The total number of the three species of cassowary is estimated at 1,500 to 3,000, although several estimates range up to 10,000.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirds