Dromaiidae – Emu
Emus remain common in most of the more lightly settled parts of mainland Australia. Overall population varies from decade to decade according to rainfall; as low as 200,000 and as high as a million, but a typical figure is about half a million individuals. Although emus are no longer found in the densely settled southern and south-western agricultural areas, the provision of permanent stock water in arid regions has allowed the mainland species to extend its range.
The Dromaiidae are a ratite family of one, present only in Australia. The one species is:
Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae
A number of fossil remains evidence a greater variety and at least three island races became extinct in the nineteenth century due to European hunting.
Number of bird species: 1There are three extant sub-species:
D.n. novaehollandiae is found in South-east Australia; it has a whitish ruff when breeding
Dr. n. woodwardi is found in North Australia; it is slender and paler than the nominate race.
D.n. rothschildi is found in South-west Australia it is darker, and has no ruff during breeding.