Dromaius novaehollandiae baudinianus Parker, 1984:20

Kangaroo Island emu



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Dromaius baudinianus Parker, 1984:20; Dromaius diemenianus Jennings, 1828; Dromaeus parvulus Mathews, 1901; Dromaius peroni Rothschild, 1907; Peronista peroni Mathews, 1913; Dromaius baudinus Parker, 1984


Conservation Status


Last record: between 1802 and 1836 (c.1824 going by Leigh, 1982)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


The last record of this species is generally cited as being 1827. However, Leigh (1982) landed on Kangaroo Island in 1836 and remarked that the species had been exterminated "some 12 years previously" (fide Walshe, 2014:133-134).



Kangaroo Island, South Australia, Australia


Biology & Ecology




There is a unique egg in the Tring Museum (Mason, 1935; Hume & Walters, 2012:21).






Original scientific description:

Parker, Shane Alwyn. (1984). The extinct Kangaroo Island Emu, a hitherto-unrecognized species. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 104: 19-22.


Other references:

Antonius, Edwin. (2017). Emus von King Island und Kangaroo Island in Europa – Neue Erkenntnisse über 1804 von der Baudin-Expedition mitgebrachte Vertreter inzwischen ausgerotteter Laufvögel. Der Zoologische Garten 86(1-6): 41-76. [Abstract]

Ashby, E. (1924). Notes on extinct or rare Australian birds, with suggestions as to some of the causes of their disappearance. Part 1. Emu 23(3): 178-183.

Baxter, C. and Berris, M. (1995). An annotated list of the birds of Kangaroo Island, second edition. [Kingscote]: The National Parks & Wildlife Service. 91 pp. [relevant citation?]

BirdLife International. (2012). Dromaius baudinianus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. ( Downloaded on 30 September 2012.

BirdLife International. 2016. Dromaius baudinianus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22724449A94867311. Accessed on 02 July 2022.

Blakers, M., Davies, S.JJ.F. and Reilly, P.N. 1984. The Atlas of Australian Birds. Royal Australasian Ornithologist Union. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.

Boles, Walter E. (1992). Revision of Dromaius gidju Patterson & Rich 1987 from Riversleigh, northwest Queensland, Australia, with a reassessment of its generic position. Contributions to the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History [1992]: 195-208.

Brasil, L. (1914). The Emu of King Island. Emu 14(2): 88-97.

Brooks, T. 2000. Extinct species. In: BirdLife International (ed.), Threatened Birds of the World, pp. 701-708. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge, U.K.

Brouwer, J. and Parker, Shane. (1992). Emu (Kangaroo Island subspecies), p. 16. In: Garnett, Stephen (ed.). (1992). Threatened and Extinct Birds of Australia. RAOU Report Number 82. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, Melbourne, and Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Canberra. 212 pp.

Carpenter, G. and Horton, P. (1999). Birds, pp. 205-224. In: Robinson, A. C. and Armstrong, D. M. (eds.). (1999). A Biological Survey of Kangaroo Island, South Australia, 1989 & 1990. South Australia: Heritage and Biodiversity Section, Department for Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs.

Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.

Cibois, Alice et al. (2019). Genetic and radiographic insights into the only known mounted specimen of Kangaroo Island Emu. Revue suisse de Zoologie 126(2): 209-217.

Condon, H. T. (1967). Kangaroo Island and its vertebrate land fauna. Australian Natural History 15(12): 409-412.

Cooper, H. M. and Condon, H. T. (1947). On some fragments of emu egg-shell from an ancient camp-site on Kangaroo Island. South Australian Ornithologist 18(7): 66-68.

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. (2012). Dromaius baudinianus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Tue, 19 Jun 2012 00:42:46 +1000.

Garnett, S. T. and Crowley, G. M. (2000). The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000. Canberra, ACT: Environment Australia & Birds Australia.

Giglioli, H. H. (1907). On the extinct emu of the small islands off the south coast of Australia and probably Tasmania. Nature 75: 534.

Hall, Robert. (1899). A Key to the Birds of Australia and Tasmania ; with their geographical distribution in Australia. Melbourne/London, Melville Mullen & Slade / Dulau & Co.

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. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

Howchin, W. (1926). Some references to the literature concerning the extinct emus of Kangaroo Island and elsewhere. South Australian Ornithologist 8(7): 244-253.

Hume, Julian Pender. (2017). In search of the dwarf emu: extinct emus of Australian islands. Talk to be presented on Monday 13 March to the British Ornithologists' Club. [Abstract]

Hume, Julian Pender and Robertson, Christian. (2021). Eggs of extinct dwarf island emus retained large size. Biol. Lett. 17: 20210012.

Hume, Julian Pender and Walters, Michael. (2012). Extinct Birds. London: T & AD Poyser. 544 pp.

Iredale, Tom. (1924). As extinct as the Dodo. The Australian Museum Magazine 2(4): 117-120.

Jennings, J. (1828). Ornithologia; or, The Birds: A Poem, in Two Parts with an Introduction to their Natural History; and Copious Notes. London: Poole and Edwards.

Jouanin, Christian. (1959). Les emeus de l'Expedition Baudin. L'Oiseau et la Revue Française d'Ornithologie 29(3): 169-203.

Knox, Alan G. and Walters, Michael P. (1994). Extinct and endangered birds in the collections of The Natural History Museum. British Ornithologists' Club Occasional Publications 1: 1-292.

Lampert, R. J. (1972). A carbon date for the Aboriginal occupation of Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Mankind 8: 223-229.

Leigh, W. H. (1982).Travels and Adventures in South Australia 1836-1838 (facsimile edition). Sydney: Currawong Press.

Marchant, S. and Higgins, P. J. (eds.). 1990. The Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Mason, Geo E. (1935). On a Hitherto-unrecorded Egg of the Lesser Emu of Kangaroo Island - with a Brief Description Thereof. Emu 35(4): 331-332.

Mathews, Gregory M. (1911). The Birds Of Australia. London: l, Witherby & Co.

Mathews, Gregory M. (1913). New species and subspecies of Australian birds. Austral Avian Record 2(4): 73-79.

McMichael, Donald F. (1967). The conservation of animals and plants. Australian Natural History 15(12): 423-428.

Moore, H. P. (1924). Notes on the early settlers in South Australia prior to 1836. Proc. R. Geogr. Soc. Aust. S. Aust. Br., 25: 81-135.

Morgan, A. M. and Sutton, J. (1928). A critical description of some recently discovered bones of the extinct Kangaroo Island Emu (Dromaius diemenianus). Emu 28: 1-19.

Parker, Shane Alwyn, Eckert, H. J., Ragless, G. B., Cox, J. B. and Reid, N. C. H. (1979). An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of South Australia. Part One: Emus to Spoonbills. Adelaide: South Australian Ornithological Association.

Pearce, R. L. (1995). French Doctor-Naturalists in Western Australia. Early Days. J. Roy. WA Hist. Soc. 2(1): 56-66.

Péron, François. (1804). Voyage de de couvertes aux terres Australes. Paris.

Rothschild, Walter. (1907). Extinct Birds. London: Hutchinson.

Serventy, D. L. (1967). The Bass Strait Islands. Aust. Nat. Hist. 15: 401-408.

Slater, P. (1978). Rare and Vanishing Australian Birds. Sydney: Rigby.

Spencer, W. Baldwin and Kershaw, J. A. (1910). A Collection of Sub-fossil Bird and Marsupial Remains from King Island, Bass Strait. Mem. Nat. Mus. Melbourne 3: 5-35.

Stattersfield, A.J., Crosby, M.J., Long, A.J. and Wege, D.C. 1998. Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for bird conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Sydney Gazette 5 April 1817

Thomson, Vicki. (2018). Distinct or diminutive?: Were Australia's extinct emus different species? Wildlife Australia 55(3): 5-6. [Abstract]

Thomson, Vicki A., Mitchell, Kieren J., Eberhard, Rolan, Dortch, Joe, Austin, Jeremy J. and Cooper, Alan. (2018). Genetic diversity and drivers of dwarfism in extinct island emu populations. Biology Letters 14(4): 20170617. [Abstract]

Vickers-Rich, Patricia. (1975). Antarctic dispersal routes, wandering continents, and the origin of Australia's non-passeriform avifauna. Mem. Nat. Mus. Vic. 36: 63-126.

Walshe, K. (2000). Results of Indigenous Site Survey, Kangaroo Island. Unpublished manuscript on file at Australian Heritage Commission, Canberra. [Walshe, 2014: "Kangaroo Island Emu were also identified from post-cranial remains"]

Walshe, Keryn. (2014). Archaeological Evidence for a Sealer's and Wallaby Hunter's Skinning Site on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 9(1): 130-143. [Abstract]

Worthy, Trevor H. and Nguyen, Jacqueline M. T. (2020). An annotated checklist of the fossil birds of Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 144(1): 66-108.


<< Back to the Casuariiformes (Casowaries and Emus) database