Endangered coastal emu sightings in Yuraygir National Park

Yuraygir National Park is home to fewer than 100 coastal emus (Dromalus novaehollandiiae). The coastal emu is listed as an endangered population in the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Although the emus were once in abundance in this area, the local population has been in decline over the past 20 years as a result of habitat loss, fires during the spring breeding season, predation by foxes and wild dogs, and collisions with vehicles.

Populations of the coastal emu, which is isolated from its inland relatives, now only exist between Evans Head and Red Rock, with Yuraygir National Park south of the Clarence River being home to one of three distinct sub-populations in this region.

Keep an eye out for coastal emus when you’re on the roads or walking tracks around Wooli, Minnie Water, Diggers Camp and Yuraygir National Park.

The image below was shared on Twitter by Rosie Lee on 18 October 2012 and was taken near Wilsons Headland in Yuraygir National Park (between Wooli and Minnie Water).

Coastal emu with 5 chicks spotted near Wilsons Headland in October 2012Image by Rosie Lee

What a special experience it must be to see an endangered coastal emu dad with five chicks running along the road!

The population has received a welcome boost recently with 10 chicks being brought up and cared for by Clarence Valley wildlife carer Kerry Cranney. These chicks will be released and tracked in Yuraygir National Park and it is hoped they will help further increase the local emu population over time.

Have you ever spotted an emu in or around Wooli and Yuraygir National Park?

Please let us know where, when, how many and under what circumstances in the comments below. Thanks!