Endemic Subspecies of Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island has no endemic birds but it does have seventeen endemic sub-species who have diverged from their mainland counterparts during the ten thousand years that the island has been isolated. These subspecies look very similar but have slight differences in certain physical features. For example, the Crimson Rosella is slightly bigger and darker, the White-browed Scrubwren has streaking on its breast, the Purple-gaped Honeyeater is larger and darker and the New Holland Honeyeater has a smaller bill and wings.
KI's only endemic bird species, the Dwarf Kangaroo Island Emu was extinct by 1832.
White-eared Honeyeater Brown-headed Honeyeater
Superb Fairy-wren New Holland Honeyeater
Kangaroo Island's Endemic Subspecies:
Glossy Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus
Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans melanopterus
Boobook Ninox novaeseelandiae halmaturina
Superb Fairy-wren Malurus cyaneus ashbyi
Southern Emu-wren Stipiturus malachurus halmaturinus
White-browed Scrubwren Sericornis frontalis ashbyi
Shy Heathwren Calamanthus cauta halmaturina
Striated Thornbill Acanthiza lineata whitei
Brown Thornbill Acanthiza pusilla zietzi
White-eared Honeyeater Lichenostomus leucotis thomasi
Purple-gaped Honeyeater Lichenostomus cratitius cratitius
Little Wattlebird Anthochaera chrysoptera halmaturina
Red Wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata clelandi
New Holland Honeyeater Phylidonyris novaehollandiae campbelli
Brown-headed Honeyeater Melithreptus brevirostris magnirostris
Western Whipbird Psophodes nigrogularis lashmari
Grey Currawong Strepera versicolor halmaturina
Over several decades a number of bird species were introduced to Kangaroo Island and especially to Flinders Chase. The Gang Gang Cockatoo, Cape Barren Goose, Laughing Kookaburra, Australian Brush Turkey and the Indian Peafowl are still here but the Crescent Pigeon and the mainland Emu have both died out.