The Mallee Emu-wren is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of bushfire.

Land clearance has reduced and fragmented Mallee Emu-wren habitat. The species is also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of bushfire. In fact, it was a series of fires that caused the Mallee Emu-wren to become extinct in South Australia. Now the Mallee Emu-wren exists in just three of Victoria’s Mallee parks. 

It is a striking bird, but they can be hard to spot. The tiny bird spends most of its time foraging for insects in dense patches of spinifex (Triodia sp.) which is a critical component of its habitat 

Major threats

Bushfires are a significant risk for the Mallee Emu-wren. The bird’s restriction to a small number of locations means that a single bushfire could bring the species closer to extinction. Periods of drought also cause the species to decline.

The plan for fighting extinction

Zoos Victoria is part of the Threatened Mallee Bird Advisory Committee. We are making every effort to re-establish populations through wild-to-wild translocation within the bird’s former range.  

How you can help

  • Do what you can to increase community awareness and support for the Mallee Emu-wren. 
  • By visiting our zoos, you are supporting our work to fight extinction. 
  • Donate if you can. As a not-for-profit organisation, all donations go towards our important conservation efforts. 
  • Discover more about local conservation events and join the growing number of wild activists taking action for local wildlife. 

Is your classroom learning about the Mallee Emu-wren? 

Browse through our collection of animal teaching and learning resources for students. These include animal toolkits, e-books, Ask a Zoo Expert resources, video showcases and real-world examples to support the VCE Study Design. 

Photo: Tom Hunt

Population Trend:
Number left in the wild:

Conservation Status

  • LC
    Least Concern
  • NT
    Near Threatened
  • VU
  • EN
  • CR
    Critically Endangered
  • EW
    Extinct in the Wild
  • EX