Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Rheiformes > Rheidae > Rhea > Rhea americana

Rhea americana (Greater Rhea)

Synonyms: Struthio americanus

Wikipedia Abstract

The greater rhea (Rhea americana) is a flightless bird found in eastern South America. Other names for the greater rhea include the grey, common, or American rhea; ñandú (Guaraní); or ema (Portuguese). One of two species in the genus Rhea, in the family Rheidae, the greater rhea is endemic to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. It inhabits a variety of open areas, such as grasslands, savanna or grassy wetlands. Weighing 20–27 kilograms (44–60 lb), the greater rhea is the largest bird in South America. In the wild, the greater rhea has a life expectancy of 10.5 years. It is also notable for its reproductive habits, and for the fact that a group has established itself in Germany in recent years. The species is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.
View Wikipedia Record: Rhea americana


EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 30.7901
EDGE Score: 4.1523


Adult Weight [1]  50.71 lbs (23.00 kg)
Birth Weight [2]  1.32 lbs (600 g)
Female Maturity [4]  1 year 2 months
Male Maturity [4]  1 year 2 months
Diet [3]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates), Frugivore, Granivore, Herbivore
Diet - Ectothermic [3]  10 %
Diet - Endothermic [3]  10 %
Diet - Fruit [3]  20 %
Diet - Invertibrates [3]  20 %
Diet - Plants [3]  20 %
Diet - Seeds [3]  20 %
Forages - Ground [3]  100 %
Clutch Size [5]  20
Incubation [4]  36 days


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Alta Paraná Atlantic forests Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Araucaria moist forests Brazil Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Atlantic Coast restingas Brazil Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Atlantic dry forests Brazil Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests
Bahia coastal forests Brazil Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Bahia interior forests Brazil Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Beni savanna Bolivia Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Caatinga Brazil Neotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Campos Rupestres montane savanna Brazil Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Cerrado Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Dry Chaco Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests
Espinal Argentina Neotropic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Humid Chaco Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Humid Pampas Argentina Neotropic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Low Monte Argentina Neotropic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Pantanal Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay Neotropic Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
Paraná flooded savanna Argentina Neotropic Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
Pernambuco coastal forests Brazil Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Pernambuco interior forests Brazil Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Serra do Mar coastal forests Brazil Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests  
Southern Andean Yungas Bolivia, Argentina Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Southern Cone Mesopotamian savanna Argentina Neotropic Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
Uruguayan savanna Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina Neotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Bañados del Este Wetland Reserve 986054 Uruguay  
Bosque Mbaracayú Biosphere Reserve V 691895 Paraguay  
Cerro Corá National Park II 31326 Paraguay  
Defensores del Chaco National Park II 1792493 Paraguay  
El Palmar National Park II   Entre Rios, Argentina  
Estacion Biologica Beni Biosphere Reserve VI 335178 Bolivia  
Mbaracayú Biological Refuge IV 4039 Paraguay  
Mburucuyá National Park II   Corrientes, Argentina  
Noel Kempff Mercado National Park II 4006523 Bolivia  
Parque Atlantico Mar Chiquita Nature Reserve VI 706059 Cordoba, Argentina  
Parque Nacional Serranía San Luis National Park II 29816 Paraguay  
Paso Bravo National Park 256207 Paraguay  
Río Negro National Park II 73775 Paraguay  
Río Pilcomayo National Park II 123699 Formosa, Argentina
Reserva Ecologica de Ñacuñan Ecological Reserve Ia   Argentina  
Reserve de Biosphere Cerrado Biosphere Reserve II 1812 Parana, Brazil  
San Rafael, Reserva de Recursos Manejados Managed Resource Reserve VI 165840 Paraguay  
Tinfunqué National Park 607935 Paraguay  
Ypoa National Park 303997 Paraguay  

Important Bird Areas

BirdLife Species Factsheet: View Factsheet
Name Location  IBA Criteria   Website   Climate   Land Use 
Alto Rio Juruena Brazil A1
Area Natural Protegida El Mangrullo Argentina A1, A3
Área Natural de Manejo Integrado San Matías Bolivia A1, A3
Bañado de Añatuya Argentina A1
Bañado La Estrella Este Argentina A1, A4iii, A4iv
Bañado La Estrella Oeste Argentina A1
Bañados de Figueroa Argentina A1
Bañados del Quirquincho Argentina A1
Bañados del Río Atuel Argentina A1, A4i
Bañados del Río Saladillo Argentina A1, A4i
Bahía de Samborombón y Punta Rasa Argentina A1, A4i, A4iii
Bajos Submeridionales Argentina A1
Banhado dos Pachecos Brazil A1, A2
Banhado São Donato Brazil A1, A2, A3
Barra Concepción Argentina A1, A2
Barragem de Boa Esperança Brazil A1
Beni Biological Station Biosphere Reserve Bolivia A1, A3
Caceres Brazil A1, A3
Caldenal del Sudoeste de Buenos Aires Argentina A1
Campo San Juan Argentina A1
Campos da Região de Bagé Brazil A1, A2, A3
Campos do Encanto Brazil A1, A2, A3
Campos do Planalto das Araucárias Brazil A1, A2
Castillos Lagoon Uruguay A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4iii
Ceibas Argentina A1, A2
Cerrados ao Sul de Brasília Brazil A1, A2
Cerrados do Nordeste de Tocantins Brazil A1
Chaco de Tartagal Argentina A1
Chaguaral Argentina A1
Chancaní y Sierras de Pocho Argentina A1
Concepción-Chavarría Argentina A1
Cuña boscosa de Santa Fe Argentina A1
Cuenca del río Aguapey Argentina A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4ii
Cuenca del Río Salado Argentina A1
Curaçá Brazil A1
Dorso Occidental Subhúmedo de Santa Fe Argentina A1
El Cachapé Argentina A1
El Cantor Argentina A1
Espinal de Mercedes Argentina A1
Estação Ecológica de Uruçuí-Una Brazil A1
Estancia Estrella Paraguay A1
Estancia Gran Siete Paraguay A1, A3
Estancia Guaycolec Argentina A1
Estancia La Alegría Argentina A1
Estancia La Leonor Argentina A1
Estancia Medaland Argentina A1
Estancia Puerto Valle Argentina A1, A2, A4ii
Estancia San Ignacio Argentina A1
Estancia San Juan Poriahú Argentina A1, A2
Estancias Golondrina: El Trébol Paraguay A1
Este de Río Mamoré Bolivia A1, A2
Estepas arbustivas del Sur de Buenos Aires Argentina A1
Estero Tapenagá Argentina A1
Extremo noreste de Corrientes Argentina A1
Felipe Yofre Argentina A1
Formoso do Araguaia Brazil A1, A4i, A4iii
Fortín Sargento Primero Leyes Argentina A1
Fortín Toledo Paraguay A1, A3
Interflúvio dos Rios das Mortes e Araguaia Brazil A1, A2
Itirapina Brazil A1
Jaaukanigás Argentina A1
Jagüel del Monte Argentina A1
Jaguariaíva Brazil A1
Jalapão Brazil A1, A3
KAA-IYA del Gran Chaco Bolivia A1, A3
La Fidelidad Argentina A1
Laguna Ganzo Paraguay A1, A4i
Lagunas de Guanacache Argentina A1
Lagunas Rogaguado y Ginebra Bolivia A1, A3
Lizarda Brazil A1
Loma Alta Argentina A1
Lomas de Olmedo Argentina A1
Loreto Bolivia A1, A2, A3
Lotes 32 y 33, Maíz Gordo Argentina A1
Maciço do Urucum e Adjacências Brazil A1, A3
Matas Ciliares do Rio do Coco e Afluentes Brazil A1, A2, A3
Misión Taacaglé Argentina A1
Monumento Natural das Árvores Fossilizadas e Adjacências Brazil A1, A2
Morombi Paraguay A1, A2, A3
Nacientes de los riachos Monte Lindo y Tatú Piré Argentina A1
Nandubaysal-El Potrero Argentina A1, A2, A3, A4ii
Nhumirim Brazil A1, A3
Noel Kempff Mercado Bolivia A1, A2, A3
Oeste de Río Mamoré Bolivia A1, A2, A3
Otuquis Integrated Management Natural Area Bolivia A1
Palmar de las Islas Bolivia A1, A3
Pantanal de Nabileque Brazil A1, A3
Parque Costero del Sur Argentina A1, A3
Parque Estadual do Morro do Chapéu Brazil A1, A2
Parque Nacional Chaco Argentina A1
Parque Nacional Copo Argentina A1
Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Guimarães e Adjacências Brazil A1
Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Veadeiros e Adjacências Brazil A1, A3
Parque Nacional da Serra da Bodoquena e Entorno Brazil A1, A3
Parque Nacional da Serra da Capivara Brazil A1, A2, A3
Parque Nacional das Emas Brazil A1, A3
Parque Nacional de Brasília Brazil A1, A2
Parque Nacional Defensores del Chaco Paraguay A1, A3
Parque Nacional El Palmar Argentina A1
Parque Nacional El Rey Argentina A1, A2
Parque Nacional Lihue Calel Argentina A1, A4i
Parque Nacional Médanos del Chaco Paraguay A1, A3
Parque Nacional Mburucuyá Argentina A1
Parque Nacional Río Pilcomayo Argentina A1
Parque Nacional Talampaya Argentina A1, A3
Parque Nacional Tinfunqué: Estero Patiño Paraguay A1, A3, A4i, A4iii
Parque Provincial Fuerte Esperanza Argentina A1
Parque Provincial Pampa del Indio Argentina A1
Paso Curuzú Paraguay A1
Pastizales de Ibicuy Argentina A1, A2, A4ii
Pastizales de La Travesía y Buena Esperanza Argentina A1
Perdices Argentina A1, A2, A3, A4ii
Pilagás III Argentina A1
Pozo Hondo Paraguay A1, A3
Raso da Catarina Brazil A1, A2, A3
Río Bermejito Argentina A1, A3
Región Estancia Oscuro Argentina A1
Reserva Campos del Tuyú, Estancia El Palenque y Los Ingleses Argentina A1  
Reserva de Biosfera Albufera de Mar Chiquita Argentina A1, A4i, A4iii
Reserva de Biosfera de Ñacuñan Argentina A1
Reserva de Inmovilización Iténez Bolivia A1, A3
Reserva de Uso Múltiple Bañados del Río Dulce y Laguna Mar Chiquita Argentina A1, A2, A4i, A4iii
Reserva El Bagual Argentina A1, A3
Reserva Natural Formosa Argentina A1
Reserva Natural Loro Hablador Argentina A1, A3
Reserva Natural Rincón de Santa María Argentina A1, A2
Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural SESC Pantanal e Entorno Brazil A1
Reserva Provincial de Usos Múltiples Federico Wildermuth Argentina A1
Reserva Provincial Florística y Faunística Bosques Teltecas Argentina A1
Reserva Provincial Parque Luro Argentina A1
Rincón del Socorro-Iberá Argentina A1, A2, A3
Rios Negro e Aquidauana Brazil A1, A3
Salinas de Ambargasta Argentina A1, A2
Salinas Grandes Argentina A1, A2, A4i
Salta Forestal Argentina A1
San Antonio Oeste Argentina A1, A4i, A4iii
San Javier Argentina A1, A4ii
Selva de Montiel Argentina A1
Serra da Canastra Brazil A1, A2, A3
Sierras Australes de Buenos Aires Argentina A1
Sierras del Norte Cordobés Argentina A1
Terra Ronca Brazil A1, A2, A3
Tirecatinga / Utiariti Brazil A1
Valle del río Paraguay-Paraná Argentina A1
Valle Fluvial del Río Paraguay Argentina A1
Várzea do Canal São Gonçalo Brazil A1, A2, A3
Victorica Argentina A1
Villa Iris, Chasicó, Napostá Argentina A1, A3, A4i, A4ii
Villa marítima El Cóndor Argentina A1
Ypané Medio Paraguay A1, A3

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Atlantic Forest Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay No
Cerrado Brazil No
Tropical Andes Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela No

Prey / Diet

Cirsium vulgare (Spear Thistle)[6]
Cynara cardunculus (artichoke thistle)[6]
Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass)[6]
Medicago lupulina (nonesuch)[6]
Pseudaletia adultera[6]
Rapistrum rugosum (turnipweed)[6]
Solanum sisymbriifolium (Sticky Nightshade)[6]
Stellaria media (chickweed)[6]
Xanthium spinosum (Spiny Cocklebur)[6]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Apis mellifera (honey bee)1
Bombus ruderatus (Large Garden Humble-bee)1
Chrysocyon brachyurus (Maned Wolf)1
Dama dama (fallow deer)1
Forficula auricularia (European earwig)1
Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer)1
Sylvilagus floridanus (Eastern Cottontail)1


Harpyhaliaetus coronatus (Crowned Solitary Eagle)[7]
Speothos venaticus (Bush Dog)[8]


Parasitized by 
Ceratophyllus gallinae (European chicken flea)[9]
Dicheilonema rheae <Unverified Name>[10]
Dispharynx nasuta <Unverified Name>[10]
Strigea nugax <Unverified Name>[10]
Taenia tauricollis <Unverified Name>[10]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Al Bustan Zoological Center
Alameda Park Zoo
Artis Zoo
Attica Zoological Park S.A.
Audubon Zoo
Badoca Safari Park
Beale Parkintermedia
Bergen County Zoological Park
Berkshire College of Agriculture
Bird Park Marlow
Birdland Park & Gardensamericana
Blaavand Zoo
Blackbrook Zoological Park
Blackpool Zoo
Blair Drummond Safari Park
Bosphorus Zoo (Bogaziçi Hayvanat
Bowmanville Zoological Park
Brandywine Zoo
BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo
Brent Lodge Park Animal Centre
Camperdown Wildlife Centre
CERZA Centre d'Etude Rech Zool Augeron
Chahinkapa Zoo
Chiangmai Zoological Garden
Christianshede Zoo
Copenhagen Zoo
Curraghs Wildlife Park
David Traylor Zoo of Emporia
Detroit Zoological Society
Dickerson Park Zoo
Drayton Manor Park Zoo
DSI Givskud Zoo
Dudley Zoological Gardens
El Paso Zoo
Espace Zoolog de St-Martin-la-Plaine
Exmoor Zoological Park
Faunia (Parque Biologico De Madrid,SA)
Flamingo Land LTD
Folly Farm Leisure Ltd
Fresno Chaffee Zoo
Fundacao Parque Zoologico de Sao Paulo
Fundacion Zoologica de Cali
Galloway Wildlife Conservation Parkamericana
Great Plains Zoo
Greater Vancouver Zoo
Guadalajara Zoo
Hai Park Kiriat Motzkin
Henry Vilas Zoo
HeverJardin d'Oiseaux Tropicaux
International Animal Exchange, Inc.albescens
Jardim Zoologico / Lisbon Zoo
Jardin Zoologico de Cdad.Buenos Aires
Johannesburg Zoological Gardens
Jurong Birdpark, Singapore
Jyllands Park Zoo
Knowsley Safari Park
Kolmardens Djurpark AB
Lakeland Wildlife Oasis
Le Pal, Parc Animalier
Lee Richardson Zoo
Lion Country Safari Inc - Florida
Lotherton Bird Garden
Louisville Zoological Garden
Magnetic Hill Zoo
Maktoum Wildlife Centre
Manor House Wildlife Park
Marwell Wildlife
Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Mesker Park Zoo
Miami Metrozoo
Miskolc Zoo/Állatkert és Kultúrpark
Mitchell Park Zoo
Montgomery Zoo
Moulton Collegeintermedia
Museum de Besancon
Nakhon Ratchasima Zool. Park
Natural Science Center of Greensboro
Neunkircher Zoologischer Garten GmbH
Noah's Ark Zoo Farmintermedia
North of England Zoological Society
Nyíregyházi Állatpark Nonprofit KFT
Oasys Parque del Desierto de Tabernas
Odense Zoologiske Have
Ogrod Zoologiczny im. Stefana Milera
Ogrod Zoologiczny w Opolu, Opole
Ogrod Zoologiczny w Poznaniu
Olmense Zoo
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
Opel-Zoo von Opel HessischeZoostiftung
Ouwehand Zoo
Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park
Parc de la Haute Touche (MNHN)
Parc de Lunaret
Parc des Oiseaux
Parc Merveilleux
Parc Paradisio S.A.
Parc Paysager Et Animalier Du Reynou
Parc Safari / F.A.P.S.
Parc Zoologique d'Amiens
Parc Zoologique d'Amneville
Parc Zoologique de la Barben
Parc Zoologique de La Palmyre
Parc Zoologique de Lille
Parco Zoo Punta Verde
Park i Ogrod Zoologiczny w Krakowie
Parken Zoo i Eskilstuna AB
Parque De Animales Silvestres Temaikèn
Parque Ornitologico de Lourosa
Parque Zoologico Huachipa
Parque Zoologico Nacional, ZOODOMalbescens
Patronato del Parque Zoologico de Leon
Phoenix Zoo
Planete Sauvage
Reaseheath College Animal Centre
Ree Park - Ebeltoft Safari
Riverview Park & Zoo
Rodbaston College
Rome Zoo-Fondazione Bioparco di Roma
Rostock Zoologischer Garten
Safari de Peaugres
Safaripark Beekse Bergen
Salisbury Zoological Park
Salzburg Zoo Hellbrunn
Santa Ana Zoo
Santa Fe CollegeTeaching Zoo
Schoenbrunner Tiergarten GmbH
Sequoia Park Zoo
Silesian Zoological Garden
Silver Springs Park
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Societa Zoologica Di Pistoia S.R.L
Stichting Nederlands Opvang Papegaaien
Szeged Zoo
Tallinn Zoo
Terra Natura S.A.
The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens
Thoiry Zoological Park
Tierpark Hagenbeck GmbH
Tierwelt Herberstein
Trevor Zoo at Millbrook School
Tropiquaria Wildlife Parkamericana
Trotter's World of Animals
Turtle Back Zoo
Usti nad Labem Zoo
Virginia Safari Park & Preserv Ctr,Inc
Wadi Al Safa Wildlife Centre
Washington Park Zoological Gardens
Welsh Mountain Zoo
Western Plains Zoo
Wildlife Safari Inc
Wildlife World Zoo
Wilhelma Zoo
Wingham Wildlife Park
Woburn Safari Park
Wroclaw Zoo, LLC
Zivalski vrt Ljubljana
Zoo Aquarium de Madrid (GRPR)
Zoo de Jurques
Zoo de La Fleche
Zoo Decin - Pastyrska Stena
Zoo Dortmund
Zoo Dresden GmbH
Zoo Duisburg AG
Zoo Hannover GmbH
Zoo Osnabrück
Zoo Parc de Beauval
Zoo Parc Overloon
Zoo Safari Swierkocin
Zoobotanico de Jerez
Zoological Center Tel Aviv - Ramat Gan
Zoological Garden of Polish Fauna
Zoological Society of Ireland-Dublin
Zoologicka zahrada Ostrava
Zoologicka zahrada Bojnice
Zoologicka Zahrada Bratislava
Zoologicka Zahrada Jihlava
Zoologicka Zahrada Mesta Brna
Zoologicka zahrada Olomouc
Zoologická a botanická zahrada Plzen
Zoologico Nacional La Aurora
Zoologischer Garten Augsburg GmbH
Zoologischer Garten Saarbruecken
ZooWorld Zoological Botanical Conserv.

Range Map

South America;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Brown, C. R. 1997. Purple martin (Progne subis). In A. Poole, and F. Gill, eds. The Birds of North America. No. 287. Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, DC. 32pp.
2del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
5Jetz W, Sekercioglu CH, Böhning-Gaese K (2008) The Worldwide Variation in Avian Clutch Size across Species and Space PLoS Biol 6(12): e303. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303
6Comparatore, Viviana, and Cristina Yagueddú. Diet of the Greater Rhea (Rhea americana) in an agroecosystem of the Flooding Pampa, Argentina. Ornitologia Neotropical 18.2 (2007): 187-194.
7Crowned eagles rarely prey on livestock in central Argentina: persecution is not justified, José Hernán Sarasola, Miguel Ángel Santillán, Maximiliano Adrián Galmes, Endangered Species Research 11: 207–213, 2010
83.10 Bush dog, Speothos venaticus, G.L. Zuercher, M. Swarner, L. Silveira and O. Carrillo, Sillero-Zubiri, C., Hoffmann, M. and Macdonald, D.W. (eds). 2004. Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. x + 430 pp.
9International Flea Database
10Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access