DEC | NSW threatened species - Lord Howe Currawong
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Lord Howe Currawong

Species profile
Regional information:
Detailed distribution map
See a map of recorded locations of this species, on the BioNet website.

Lord Howe Currawong - profile

Scientific name: Strepera graculina crissalis 
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
National conservation status: Vulnerable


The Lord Howe Currawong is a separate subspecies from the mainland Pied Currawong. It differs from the mainland Currawong by its more robust beak and less white in the plumage, and has a different call. They are inquisitive birds and will often visit walkers resting along walking tracks.

Location and habitat

Occurs only on Lord Howe Island, where it can be found across the island. Most commonly seen in the southern mountains and northern hills.

Habitat and ecology
  • Found in forest areas on Lord Howe Island.
  • In autumn this species moves into lowland forests from higher parts of the island.
  • The total population is estimated to possibly be as low as 100 birds.
  • They have a widely-varied diet, and are the only remaining native island vertebrate predator. Their food includes bird chicks, rats, mice, and a range of fruits and seeds.
  • They breed in late spring and summer and lay three, light brown, blotched eggs.
  • Their nest consists of a cup of sticks lined with grass and palm thatch, placed high in a tree.

Regional information
This species is found in the following catchment management authority regions. Click on a region name to see more details about the distribution, vegetation types and habitat preference of the species in that region.


  • Clearing of lowland forest areas.
  • Risk of extinction due to small population size and restricted distribution.
  • It can be unpopular with locals and visitors due to it's habit of preying on nestling birds, and in the past, Currawongs were shot.
  • Possible non-target poisoning during rat-baiting programs.

Recovery strategies

Priority actions are the specific, practical things that must be done to recover a threatened species, population or ecological community. The Department of Environment and Conservation has identified 322 priority actions to help recover the Lord Howe Currawong in New South Wales.

What needs to be done to recover this species?

  • Encourage an appreciation of the importance of the Lord Howe Currawong as a native forest predator.
  • Use appropriate poisons during rodent baiting programs.
  • Protect lowland forest habitat from clearing.
  • Monitor populations to identify any trends in the population.
  • Research into ecology of the species to provide information to assist in its conservation.


  • Fullagar, P.J., McKean, J.L. and Van Tets, G.F. (1974). Report on the Birds. In: Recher, H.F. and Clark, S.S. (eds) Environmental Survey of Lord Howe Island. A report to the Lord Howe Island Board. NSW Govt Printer.
  • Hindwood, K.A. (1940) The Birds of Lord Howe Island. Emu 40:1-86
  • Hutton, I. (1991) Birds of Lord Howe Island: Past and Present. Ian Hutton, Lord Howe Island.

Lord Howe Currawong
Lord Howe Currawong
Image: Di Brown
© Di Brown

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