Coturnix novaezelandiae


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Coturnix novaezelandiae
Species Authority: Quoy & Gaimard, 1830
Common Name(s):
English New Zealand Quail

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A. & Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Brooks, T., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S.
This species formerly occurred on New Zealand's South Island, but is now Extinct, probably due to diseases spread by introduced game birds. A bird that died in 1875 is thought to represent the last individual of the species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Coturnix novaezelandiae was endemic to North, South and Great Barrier Islands, New Zealand (Marchant and Higgins 1993). It was considered fairly common until the mid-19th century, but declined rapidly to extinction by 1875 (Holdaway 1999). Recent suggestions that a quail population on Tiritiri Matangi Island may be a surviving form of this species were disproven by genetic testing, showing them to be Brown Quail C. ypsilophora (Seabrook-Davison et al. 2009).

Regionally extinct:
New Zealand
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabited open habitats, especially grass-covered downs.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Extinction was initially thought to have been caused by large-scale burning, predation by dogs, cats and rats, and grazing by sheep (Marchant and Higgins 1993). More recently, diseases spread by introduced gamebirds have been hypothesised to account for its rapid extinction (Knox and Walters 1994).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Coturnix novaezelandiae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 04 September 2015.
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