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Ostrich: Struthionidae

Conservation Status

Ostriches are not listed as a threatened species by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The subspecies known as the Arabian ostrich is believed to have become extinct, no longer existing, in the 1940s. Ostriches were common in most of Africa and southwest Asia until about 100 years ago. Ostrich populations began declining about 300 years ago when their feathers became fashionable and hunting was widespread. By the early 1800s, ostriches were nearly extinct and farms were established in Africa to raise them. Although they survived extinction, their numbers are limited. They are found mostly in national parks, game preserves, and commercial farms.



Davies, S. J. J. F., et al. Bird Families of the World. Vol. 8, Ratites and Tinamous: Tinamidae, Rheidae, Dromaiidae, Casuariidae, Apterygidae, Struthionidae. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Elwood, Ann. Ostriches, Emus, Rheas, Kiwis, and Cassowaries. Mankato, MN: Creative Education, 1991.

Harris, Timothy. Ostriches, Rheas, Cassowaries, Emus, and Kiwis. New York: Beech Publishing House, 1997.

Sinclair, Ian, et al. Birds of Southern Africa. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.

Zim, H. S. Ostriches. New York: William Morrow, 2000.


Manilus, N. "The Ostrich in Egypt: Past and Present." Journal of Biogeography (August 2001): 945–953.

Ostrowski, S., et al. "Evidence of a Dramatic Decline of the Red-Necked Ostrich Struthio camelus camelus in the Air and Tenere National Nature Preserve, Niger." Oryx (October 1, 2001): 349–352.

Potts, D. T. "Ostrich Distribution and Exploitation in the Arabian Peninsula." Antiquity (March 2001): 182.

Thompson, Rebecca S. "Raising Emus and Ostriches." United States Department of Agriculture Special Reference Brief, No. SRB 97-06. (November 2000).

Web sites:

American Ostrich Association. http://www.ostriches.org (accessed on June 25, 2004).

Donegan, Keenan. "Struthio camelus." Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Struthio_camelus.html (accessed on June 25, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsOstrich: Struthionidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, OSTRICHES AND PEOPLE