Forest Raven

Forest Raven
Forest Raven
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Corvus
Species: C. tasmanicus
Binomial name
Corvus tasmanicus
Mathews, 1912
Distribution map

The Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus) is a large species of the crow genus native to south-eastern Australia and Tasmania.



The Forest Raven is 50–52 cm in length with glossy black plumage and a white iris. It has a proportionately larger bill and shorter tail than the other mainland corvid species and is the sole representative of the genus Corvus in Tasmania. The call is a deep "korr-korr-korr-korr" with a similarly drawn out last note to the Australian Raven.


An outlying population exists in a small area in the tablelands of north-eastern New South Wales. The suggestion that this form be given specific rank and be known as the Relict Raven (Corvus boreus) appears not to have gathered favour, and the Relict Raven remains classified as a subspecies, C. tasmanicus boreus.

A scientific study of the Forest Raven (C. tasmanicus) and the Little Raven (C. mellori) is being undertaken by the Victorian Ornithological Research Group in Victoria.

Distribution and habitat

The Forest Raven inhabits a wide range of habitat within Tasmania such as woods, open interrupted forest, mountains, coastal areas, farmland and town and city fringes. It is also found in southern Victoria from Gippsland west through Wilson's Promontory and the Otway Ranges. Further west, it occurs patchily in south-east South Australia.

In its present stronghold — the state of Tasmania — the Forest Raven is one of only four native birds that have no legal protection outside national parks and other reserves. The other three unprotected species are the Tasmanian Native-hen (a Tasmanian endemic), the Great Cormorant and the Little Pied Cormorant. All other native Tasmanian birds are listed as protected under the state's Nature Conservation Act 2002.



A typical omnivore taking a very wide range of foods such as insects, carrion, fruit, grain and earthworms. It has been known to kill and eat birds as large as the Silver Gull (Larus novaehollandiae) using some degree of cunning by pretending to forage near enough to get close for the kill.


A stick nest, very similar to the mainland Australian Raven and like it, built always high up in tall trees.

Photo Image Links


  • BirdLife International (2005). Corvus tasmanicus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Pizzey G and Knight F.