Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Eurypygiformes > Rhynochetidae > Rhynochetos > Rhynochetos jubatus

Rhynochetos jubatus (Kagu)

Wikipedia Abstract

The kagu or cagou (Rhynochetos jubatus) is a crested, long-legged, and bluish-grey bird endemic to the dense mountain forests of New Caledonia. It is the only surviving member of the genus Rhynochetos and the family Rhynochetidae, although a second species has been described from the fossil record. Measuring 55 cm (22 in) in length, it has pale grey plumage and bright red legs. Its 'nasal corns' are a unique feature not shared with any other bird.
View Wikipedia Record: Rhynochetos jubatus

Endangered Species

Status: Endangered
View IUCN Record: Rhynochetos jubatus

EDGE Analysis

The Kagu is a highly unusual, almost flightless bird, which due to its startling ash-white plumage, is known locally as the ‘ghost of the forest’. The only representative of an entire taxonomic family, the Kagu resembles something between a small heron and a rail. It has a large crest, long legs, a peculiar ‘bark’, which can be heard over a mile away. It is endemic to Grand Terre, the largest island of New Caledonia and has been adopted as the national emblem. Sadly, following predation by dogs and habitat loss the Kagu is now listed as Endangered. The Kagu experienced a decline in numbers during the 1900s primarily due to predation by invasive species. Domestic dogs have historically been the main threat to the species along with cats and pigs.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 55.3819
EDGE Score: 6.11159
View EDGE Record: Rhynochetos jubatus


Adult Weight [1]  1.95 lbs (883 g)
Birth Weight [2]  50 grams
Diet [3]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates)
Diet - Ectothermic [3]  30 %
Diet - Invertibrates [3]  40 %
Diet - Scavenger [3]  30 %
Forages - Ground [3]  100 %
Clutch Size [2]  1
Incubation [2]  35 days
Maximum Longevity [2]  31 years
Wing Span [2]  34 inches (.86 m)


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
New Caledonia rain forests France Australasia Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests

Important Bird Areas

BirdLife Species Factsheet: View Factsheet
Name Location  IBA Criteria   Website   Climate   Land Use 
Aoupinié New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2
Boulinda New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2
Bwa Opana New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2  
Dent de Saint-Vincent New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2, A4ii  
Entre les monts Cidoa et Bwa Bwi New Caledonia (to France) A1  
Entre les monts Nakada et Do New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2  
Entre les monts Rembaï et Canala New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2
Entre Table Unio et Farino New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2
Forêt Plate New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2
Goro Até et haute vallée de la rivière Tchamba New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2
Goro Jé et haute vallée de la rivière Amoa New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2  
Grand Koum New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2  
Hautes vallées des rivières Néaoua, Koua et Kouaoua New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2  
Massif des Lèvres New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2  
Massif du Mé Kanin, Sphinx et Arago New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2
Massifs du Grand Sud: entre le mont Humboldt et la rivière Bleue New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2, A4ii
Mé Maoya New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2
Pic Ningua New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2  
Prokoméo New Caledonia (to France) A1, A2

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
New Caledonia New Caledonia Yes

Emblem of

New Caledonia


Parasitized by 
Cagourakis dorsalata <Unverified Name>[4]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Nogeyama Zoological Gardens Yokohama
San Diego Wild Animal Park
San Diego Zoo
Yokohama Zool. Gardens
Zoologischer Garten Wuppertal





Attributes / relations provided by
1Ecology and Conservation of the Kagu Rhynochetos jubatus of New Caledonia, Gavin Raymond Hunt, 1997, Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy in Ecology at Massey University
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
4Gibson, 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