Family Cassowaries, Emus (Casuariidae)

Least Concern

Northern Cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus)


French: Casoar unicaronculé German: Einlappenkasuar Spanish: Casuario unicarunculado
Other common names: One-wattled Cassowary

Casuarius unappendiculatus


, 1860,

no locality


In the past, four races (unappendiculatus, occipitalis, aurantiacus and philipi) or more were commonly recognized; however, extensive individual variation, together with confusion due to numerous and widespread introductions over centuries, and paucity of museum specimens and of reliable data on bare-part colours of known adults, all combine to confound attempts at building accurate picture of true geographical variation#R. Monotypic.


W Papuan Is (Batanta, Salawati) and W & N New Guinea (Vogelkop E to Astrolabe Bay), including Yapen I (Geelvink Bay).

Descriptive notes

120–150 cm. Adult is distinctive, with variably bulging side of lower face, casque of variable size and shape, and thick, powerful legs and feet with three toes; bare-... read more


Grunts and roars reported.


Rainforest and swamp-forest; mostly in lowlands, but locally up to 700 m.

Food and feeding

Little information. Mainly fallen fruit; possibly also fungi, invertebrates and small vertebrates. Presumably forages and feeds in manner... read more


Jun–Oct. Females polyandrous. Clutch presumably 3–5 eggs, grey-green to pale green, 139-160 × 93-105 mm. Incubation of... read more


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Poorly known. Generally scarce, though locally common; declining. Distribution in NW New Guinea (Vogelkop) poorly known, and few... read more

Recommended citation

Folch, A., Jutglar, F., Garcia, E.F.J. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Northern Cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 January 2020).