Megacrex inepta 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Gruiformes Rallidae

Scientific Name: Megacrex inepta d'Albertis & Salvadori, 1879
Common Name(s):
English New Guinea Flightless Rail, Papuan Flightless Rail
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Identification information:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Bishop, K.D., Dutson, G., Gregory, P., Leary, T. & Woxvold, I.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Wheatley, H., North, A.

Although this species remains very poorly-known, there is increasing evidence that it is widespread in mangrove and sago swamps which are not significantly threatened by habitat loss or degradation. Its tolerance of logged and degraded forest is unknown but probably high given its ecology. It is hunted but there are very low human population densities across most of its range. Given its suspected low rate of decline and its large geographical range, it is no longer considered to approach the threshold for Vulnerable under any criterion and as such has been downlisted to Least Concern.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Megacrex inepta is endemic to the lowlands of northern and southern New Guinea (Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea). There are few records, but it is reported to be locally common, especially where sago is harvested (Gregory 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998, I. Woxvold pers. comm. per G. Dutson in litt. 2016). 

Countries occurrence:
Indonesia; Papua New Guinea
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:405000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population size has not been estimated, but the species has been described as locally common, especially where sago is harvested (Gregory 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998, I. Woxvold pers. comm. per G. Dutson in litt. 2016).

Trend Justification:  There are no data on population trends; however, deforestation and trapping are suspected to be causing a slow decline.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

It inhabits lowland forest, especially wet thickets, swamp forest and mangroves and feeds on insects (Pratt and Beehler 2015).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):3.7
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Although flightless, it appears to be able to fight off attacks from dogs and to climb into trees to escape predators (Ripley 1964, Coates 1985). It is hunted in some areas, sometimes targeted specifically with sago lures, but there are very low human population densities across most of its range. It may be affected by feral pigs. Lowland forests across its range are being slowly logged and cleared, with 1.3% of forest lost plus 2.9% logged in the mainland coastal provinces of Papua New Guinea between 2002 and 2014 (Bryan and Shearman 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct field surveys and interviews in villages to better understand its distribution, population density and threats. Use awareness programmes to discourage hunting. Effectively protect large areas of lowland rainforest.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Megacrex inepta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22692785A118205352. . Downloaded on 22 January 2018.
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