Pareudiastes silvestris 

Scope: Global

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Gruiformes Rallidae

Scientific Name: Pareudiastes silvestris
Species Authority: (Mayr, 1933)
Common Name(s):
English Makira Moorhen, San Cristobal Moorhen, Makira Woodhen, San Cristobal Mountain Rail
Edithornis silvestris Mayr, 1933
Gallinula silvestris (Mayr, 1933)
Gallinula sylvestris (Mayr, 1933) [orth. error in Collar and Andrew (1988)]
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. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Taxonomic Notes: Pareudiastes silvestris (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Gallinula.
Identification information: 27 cm. Medium-sized, almost tail-less, flightless rail. Black plumage with bluish gloss on head and neck and brown wash to mantle and wings. Red legs and bill. Blue-grey frontal shield. Similar spp. Spotless Crake Porzana tabuensis much smaller and has black bill. Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio has white undertail-coverts and frontal shield concolorous with bill. Rufous-tailed Water-hen Amaurornis moluccanus has dull greenish bare parts and rusty vent. Voice Unknown. In 2004, calls thought possibly to belong to this species were reported. They were of a cat-like meowing sound mealowl, high in pitch, reptitive, continuous and dropping at the end. Hints Search remote areas with the aid of local hunters.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Collins, C., Diamond, J., Dutson, G., Filardi, C., Harker, C., James, R., Waihuru, J. & Wilson, T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Butchart, S., Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Pilgrim, J., Stattersfield, A., Martin, R & Ashpole, J
This species has not been recorded since 1953 despite recent surveys lasting several weeks, and hunters no longer report the species in areas close to the type locality from where it was known to hunters in 1974. It is likely to have declined as a result of depredation by introduced mammalian predators. However, it cannot be presumed to have gone Extinct because there have been recent credible reports, and further surveys are needed in the Wainoni hills and in the swamps of north Makira. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and for these reasons it is treated as Critically Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Pareudiastes silvestris is known only from the type-specimen collected in 1929, and a subsequent observation of one in 1953 on Makira (= San Cristobal), Solomon Islands. The 1929 collectors failed to secure more specimens and concluded that the species was already rare (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). In 1953, it was reported to be well-known to guides from Ghoghe village and to be not uncommon (Cain and Galbraith 1956). Hunters in hill villages close to the type locality reported it in 1974, but not in 1990 or subsequently (J. M. Diamond in litt. 1987, Lees 1991, Buckingham et al. 1995, R. James verbally 1998, J. Waihuru verbally 1998, Danielsen et al. 2010). Several weeks have been spent surveying this area without any evidence of the species's survival (Buckingham et al. 1995, R. James verbally 1998), but two unconfirmed reports of birds caught by dogs, in 2001, 2002 and most recently 2005, suggest it may still be extant (R. James in litt. 2003, 2011). Furthermore, unidentified calls heard in 2004 were reported to belong to this species by local people who claimed to see it rarely, while apparently credible reports from the western part of the island in 2008 indicated that villagers were familiar with the species but did not encounter it regularly (C. Collins in litt. 2008).

Countries occurrence:
Solomon Islands
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:1Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Any surviving population assumed to be tiny (numbering fewer than 50 individuals and mature individuals), with no confirmed recent reports, despite several weeks of surveys.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1-49Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:1Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:Yes
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The specimen was taken at 600 m and the 1953 sighting was at c.450 m in the central ranges of Makira. Hunters reported that it was flightless but climbed into bushes to escape dogs. These records are from rainforest on steep, rocky hills with many small rivers but no standing water (Cain and Galbraith 1956, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). It has been suggested that it may also inhabit the largely unexplored swamps of north Makira (Buckingham et al. 1995), but no evidence of it was found there in a very brief survey in 1998 (G. Dutson pers. obs. 1998).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):5.9
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is likely to have declined owing to predation by introduced mammalian predators. Birds were also caught by village hunting dogs but this was probably an uncommon and unplanned result of hunting for pigs (Cain and Galbraith 1956, Taylor and van Perlo 1998, J. Waihuru verbally 1998). Although most of the lowlands of Makira have been logged or are under logging concessions, forests on steep, rocky slopes are likely to be safe from commercial logging (Danielsen et al. 2010). Introduced fire ants Wasmannia auropunctata, known to attack the eyes of ground-dwelling birds, are likely to have impacted the species (Danielsen et al. 2010). Introduced snakes would likely be a threat to the species, should they become established on Makira.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Surveys and interviews with local hunters between 400 m and 1,000 m elevation around Hauta in the central mountain ranges, most recently in 2006, have failed to find evidence of this species (C. Filardi in litt. 2007). The forests of the Hauta region are presently protected under a community sustainable use programme. A local NGO is collaboratively searching for the bird and spreading awareness of its identification, through distribution of pictures and awareness sessions in the provincial capital of Makira-Ulawa, Kirakira (C. Filardi in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Circulate coloured paintings to hunters in inland Makira to gather any information on its survival. Survey uninhabited inland mountains. Encourage tighter controls of commercial logging. Support the continuation and extension of community-based sustainable use programmes in the mountains. Establish protected areas on Makira (Taylor et al. 2015).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Pareudiastes silvestris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22692857A78917178. . Downloaded on 27 October 2016.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided