Australian Bustard


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Wildlife Profile - Australian Bustard Ardeotis australis

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Ardeotis australis J. Reproduction: Australian Bustards breed once a year. Threat: The Australian bustard remains relatively common and widespread across most of northern Australia, but its range appears to have contracted in the south-east of the country during the last century. Adopt Me.

Australian Bustard

Did You Know? Australian Reptile Park The Australian Reptile Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is regarded as one of the country's premier attractions and is the only zoo in Australia committed to saving lives with a spider and snake Venom-Milking Program in place.


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Stay in Touch Sign up here to receive our email newsletters and you will be the first to know about all our latest wildlife news and events. Aussie Ark is a not for profit organisation and registered charity, dedicated to creating a long-term future for our threatened Australian species. As if running the Reptile Park wasn't enough, Tim also has his own TV show, active social channels and a self-imposed mandate to provide further knowledge of Australian Wildlife right around the world.

You can keep up with everything Tim is doing at timfaulkner. Turkey has worked its way into the heart of the Christmas tradition as well next month, many Australians will also lick their lips as one of these giant birds takes centre stage on the dinner table. Aborigines had certainly been feasting on many species, from emu to pigeon, for a very long time and many an early colonial dinner featured parakeet pie.

Australian Bustard

Consider the Australian bustard, Ardeotis australis. It stands centimetres tall and, although it mostly walks due to its great weight its two-metre wingspan makes it an awesome sight in flight. Once common and abundant across much of mainland Australia, bustards would come together in huge numbers at breeding time when, as with the American wild turkey, the males would put on spectacular and noisy displays of feathered fancy.

Near Hay, in southwestern New South Wales, one flock seen in was estimated to number about birds. James Cook and his crew were among the first Europeans to discover this fact.

Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis) :: xeno-canto

When Endeavour was at the mouth of the Mary River, near Hervey Bay in Queensland, Joseph Banks records in his diary that they managed to shoot a bustard of 17 and a half pounds about eight kilograms. Given the palatability of the bird, why did Australians begin to lose interest in bustards and refocus instead on importing American turkeys yet another introduced species that could potentially harm Australia? As the land was cleared and replaced by monocultures of introduced grazing species, and predatory foxes and cats spread their claws and teeth across the landscape, bustard numbers fell.

They plunged even further when rabbit bait was spread throughout their habitat. As the grazing stock numbers increased, they reduced the ground cover available to bustards.

Australian Birds

Their habit of laying their eggs on the ground made them especially vulnerable. Despite these trials and tribulations, there is still no recovery plan for the species. The Australian bustard.

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