Lesser Rhea | Welsh Mountain Zoo

Lesser Rhea

Rhea pennata

  • Not Evaluated
  • Data Deficient
  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

The Darwin Rhea is part of a group of flightless bird known as ‘Ratites’, which includes the Emu and Ostrich. Super-fast runners, the Rhea can hit speeds of up to 70 kph. A female can lay up to 30 eggs but it is the male that incubates and rears the chicks. The IUCN believes that the Lesser Rhea will face threat of extinction in the future.

Native Range →

Southern South America

Natural Habitat  →

Open scrub and grassland

Diet  →

Usually herbivorous but can eat insects and small lizards

Life Expectancy  →

Unknown in the wild. 20-25 years in zoos

Breeding  →

10 - 55 eggs from a 30 - 40 day incubation

Group Name  →


Active Hours  →

During the day

Threats  →

Loss of habitat, hunting, egg collecting

Fun fact

Although it is unable to fly, the Lesser Rhea can run very fast and reach the speed of up to 40 miles per hour. Wings provide stability while running.

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