||Hypotaenidia sylvestris (Sclater, 1869)
||Lord Howe Woodhen, Lord Howe Island Woodhen, Lord Howe Rail, Lord Howe Wood Rail
||Rascón de Isla Lord Howe
Gallirallus sylvestris (Sclater, 1869)
Ocydromus sylvestris Sclater, 1869
Tricholimnas sylvestris (Sclater, 1869) — Collar and Andrew (1988)
||Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
||Gallirallus conditicius (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993), known only from the type reputedly collected in the Apiang Group of the Gilbert Islands, Kiribati, in 1861, is not recognised as a separate species but is treated as a synonym of H. sylvestris (Greenway 1952, Olson 1992).
Hypotaenidia sylvestris (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Gallirallus.
||34-42 cm (male), 32-37 cm (female). Large, olive-brown, flightless rail with bright chestnut wings. Olive-brown body, duller on underside. Indistinct, paler supercilium. Bright chestnut wings with narrow, dark brown bars on primaries and primary coverts. Long, decurved, pink bill, more brown towards tip. Red iris. Light pink-brown legs. Juvenile similar, but iris initially dark. Similar spp. Confusion unlikely. Buff-banded Rail G. philippensis is smaller, has bold black-and-white barring on underside, buff breast-band and clear white supercilium. Voice Loud, piercing, repeated whistle, often as duet. Hints Confiding. Spreads wings to sunbathe.
|Red List Category & Criteria:
||Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
||Carlile, N., Bower, H., Haselden, C., Portelli, D. & Frith, C.
||Allinson, T, Dutson, G., Garnett, S., McClellan, R., North, A., Pilgrim, J., Stattersfield, A., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.
This species is listed as Endangered as it has an extremely small population which is restricted to a tiny area of available habitat on one island. Conservation efforts have resulted in the population experiencing continued growth over at the least last decade (D. Portelli in litt. 2016).
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
- 2013 – Endangered (EN)
- 2012 – Endangered (EN)
- 2008 – Endangered (EN)
- 2006 – Endangered (EN)
- 2004 – Endangered (EN)
- 2000 – Endangered (EN)
- 1996 – Endangered (EN)
- 1994 – Endangered (EN)
- 1988 – Threatened (T)
|Range Description:||Hypotaenidia sylvestris is endemic to Lord Howe Island (Australia). In 1788, it was found from sea-level to the tops of the two mountains on the island, but from the mid-19th century, it became restricted to the summits. In the 1970s the population comprised 10 breeding pairs and 3 singletons (Miller & Mullette 1985). In the 1980s, following the eradication of introduced pigs Sus domesticus, birds were reintroduced to two lowland sites (Boat Harbour and Little Slope), and two elevated sites (Goat House and Erskine Valley). Three birds were released within the settlement (Salmon Beach and Kings property) and a fourth was released at the site of capture at Salmon Beach after 66 days in captivity (D. Portelli in litt. 2016). The highest densities are now surrounding the settlement and on Mt Gower, which support over half of the population. In 1997 it was thought that the population had reached the island’s carrying capacity (estimated at c.220 individuals [Brook et al. 1997]), but it is now thought that the population has probably exceeded the estimated carrying capacity, and has only stabilised on Mt Gower. Numbers continue to grow in the Settlement, minor groups continue to decline at Boat harbour-Grey Face and Far Flats, whilst trends at Little Slope is unknown (D. Portelli in litt. 2016). The last population estimate was around 220–230 birds and 71–74 breeding pairs (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2002), though this was from over a decade ago. It is likely that there will be an increase in numbers following successful rodent eradication (H. Bower in litt. 2016).|
|♦ Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:||2||♦ Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):||No|
|♦ Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):||No||♦ Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:||6|
|♦ Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):||Unknown||♦ Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):||No|
|♦ Number of Locations:||1||♦ Continuing decline in number of locations:||Unknown|
|♦ Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:||No|
|♦ Upper elevation limit (metres):||875|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||Hypotaenidia sylvestris is sedentary and highly territorial (Marchant & Higgins 1993). On Mt Gower, it occurs in gnarled mossy forest. At lower altitudes, the species occurs in a wide range of Oceanic Rainforest communities. It also occurs in vegetation associated with residences where supplementary food is available. It forages amongst leaf litter, rotten logs, moss and lichens, feeding on worms, molluscs and invertebrates (Marchant & Higgins 1993). The species is also known to scavenge on residential waste, and prey upon providence petrel chicks and eggs, and rodents (Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW) 2007). It is monogamous and usually occurs in pairs. Pairs build 3-4 nursery nests on the ground under thick vegetation, in/under root cavities, in petrel burrows and under domestic debris. The breeding season varies between years but females generally lay between August and January and continue raising young until April. However, breeding can occur at any time of year when conditions are suitable In captivity clutch size is 1-4 eggs. Both parents incubate eggs for 20-23 days, and brood and feed chicks. Chicks fledge at 28 days. Females may lay another clutch as soon as 30 days after the initial clutch. Juveniles reach adult size at 12 months, but may start breeding at nine months (Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW) 2007; Marchant & Higgins 1993). Maximum longevity is fourteen years (Dean Portelli pers comm., Lord Howe Island Board unpublished data, Brook et al. 1997).|
|Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:||No|
|Generation Length (years):||3.4|
|Movement patterns:||Not a Migrant|