Are Emus Extinct? 7 Reasons to Know

Are Emus Extinct

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The world’s largest bird has been widely distributed. However, about the second largest one, we only get to hear or read about in the books.

There used to be a time when these birds would make a headline every single day by running amok and damaging crops.

As emus had done so much damage to the crops, a war was fought between humans and emus.

This war later got recorded in the books of history as the “emu war”. In the emu war, no human casualties were recorded however it left several thousands of emus dead.

Ever since the war is over, let alone spotting them we hardly get to hear about them. Does that mean all emus are killed? And the said flightless bird is listed as “extinct”? The reality is worth-knowing;

Are Emus Extinct?

No, Emus still exists. Fortunately, this world’s second-largest bird has not been listed as “extinct” yet. The Emus have been still breathing among us. It’s just that Emus are a little less common.

Tasmania and King Island emus

There used to be two subspecies known as Tasmania and king island emu, these subspecies were found in Tasmania and king island.

The Tasmania emus were listed as 1865 whereas the king island emus disappeared around 1822.

Tasmania and king island are the only two subspecies of emus that have got listed as endangered first and extinct later.

The Tasmania emus never progressed to the point in the first place that they can be considered as a distinct species or distinct subspecies.

Later the introduction of dogs became the reason for Tasmania emus extinction.

The king island emus were the closest relative of the other extinct subspecies; Tasmania emus.

The king island emus went extinct in 1822 due to hunting pressure and fires started by early settlers on king island.

So, it would be more appropriate to say that only two subspecies(Tasmania and king island) have been extinct, the rest of the species and subspecies are still least of concern.

Emus are everywhere, how can they be listed as extinct?

Australia is the only country where most of the emu population is residing. They can be spotted throughout most of the continent from coastal regions to snowy mountains.

Australia has the wildest emus whereas captive emus are found in almost all parts of the world. Emu food is available and easy to feed emus.

Around 13,300 are found in America, 625000 to 725000 in Australia, and a noticeable number of species in other countries as well. Since emus are everywhere around, they can be listed as extinct.

Emus are not even listed as endangered yet

Even though emus have been hunted down on a large scale. There are still enough emus that this world’s second-largest bird is not listed as “extinct” or “endangered”.

To be listed as endangered the animal or bird population must be restricted to less than 250 mature individuals in the whole world.

To become extinct, the number of birds or animals left in the world should drop to zero.

The birds or animals that have been significantly reduced in number and all efforts to save them are going in vain are listed as ” endangered” first. When no pair is left to increase the population, the bird or animal is listed as “extinct”.

Let’s take an example of dinosaurs, dinosaurs stopped existing around 65 million years ago. Since there is not even a single dinosaur left in the zoo or world, it has been listed as an ” extinct reptile”. Read more Can Emus Walk Backwards?

Emus might have been uncommon, however, we can still spot them in the zoos, wild, and even houses as pets. So, these second largest flightless birds are not listed as “endangered” or “extinct birds”.

Emus are also not in the danger zone

There are around 630,000 mature captive and wild emus in the world. So, this world’s second-largest world is still out of the danger zone.

This second largest world is not listed as endangered or extinct but “least concern”
By the status “least concern” we mean plentiful emus are roaming around and surviving in the wild. As there are around 630,000 emus in the wild, the “least concern” is their current status.


Are there any emus left in the world?

Yes, there are around 625000 to 725000 emus found in the world. The emu war has killed only 20,000 emus.

Did we lose all emus in the war?

No, we did not lose all emus in the emu’s war. The war was fought only in Australia. Around 9,860 bullets were fired and it left only 20,000 emus dead.

Are emus listed endangered?

No, for a bird or animal to be listed endangered the number has to fall below 250. Since there are still 625000 to 725000 emus left in the world the birds have not been listed as endangered. Their status is “least concern”.

Are there any emus in Australia?

Yes, most of the emu population has been living in Australia. As per the rough estimate, around 625000 to 725000 emus are found in Australia.

Have emus stopped existing?

No, emus have not stopped existing. The wild emus are surviving in Australia whereas, captive emus are everywhere in the world.

When did emus extinct?

Emus did not become extinct, they still exist. The two subspecies of emus were extinct in 1800. These subspecies are Tasmania and king island emus that no longer exist. The rest of the species and subspecies still exist.


Emus exist, their status is still ” least concern”. Emus are not extinct or endangered. To get listed as endangered the number of birds or animals has to fall below 250 and to become extinct it has to fall to zero.

There are about 625000 to 725000 emus left in the world and the numbers are still impressive enough to not be concerned. However, two subspecies of emus have become extinct from the map of the world. These subspecies are Tasmania and king island emus.

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