Coenocorypha aucklandica


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Coenocorypha aucklandica
Species Authority: (Gray, 1845)
Common Name/s:
English New Zealand Snipe, Subantarctic Snipe

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor/s: BirdLife International
Reviewer/s: Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor/s: Miskelly, C.
Facilitator/s: Benstead, P., Bird, J., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J.
This species has been extirpated from most of its historic range by introduced mammalian predators, to which it is highly susceptible. Declines have ceased as it is now confined to a few predator-free subantarctic islands where it is relatively secure within a very small range. Owing to the small number of locations that support the species, it is considered Near Threatened.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Coenocorypha aucklandica is endemic to New Zealand. Nominate aucklandica occurs in the Auckland Islands (excluding the main island), huegeli is known from the Snares Islands (3 km2), and meinertzhagenae occurs in the Antipodes Islands (20 km2). Races from Stewart Island (iredalei) and Little Barrier Island (barrierensis) have been driven extinct by invasive species (Tennyson and Martinson 2006). In 1997, a tiny population was discovered on Jacquemart Island (0.2 km2), in the Campbell Island group (Anon 1998a). The total population is estimated to number 29,100 birds and is considered stable (Higgins and Davies 1996). The Auckland Islands hold two thirds of the population.

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

Population [top]

Population: Higgin and Davies (1996)

Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species favours areas of dense ground cover where it feeds on a wide variety of invertebrates. It nests on the ground (hence its vulnerability to introduced mammals) and lays its eggs between August and January (the exact date varies depending on island group).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Many local extinctions have occurred in the past, probably caused by various introductions of Pacific rat Rattus exulans, cats, pigs and Weka Gallirallus australis (Higgins and Davies 1996). Such introductions brought about the extinction of two further island subspecies, iredalei and barrierensis, while R. exulans probably caused the extinction of the species from mainland New Zealand around 1,000 years ago (Heather and Robertson 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
No species-specific actions are known, but the tiny known Campbell Islands population is thought to be expanding following the eradication of rats from the main island and there have been subsequent records of the species recolonising.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Advocate the eradication of cats and pigs from Auckland Island. Monitor its status on the Antipodes Islands and ensure that mice do not become a threat in the future. Monitor island populations opportunistically and consider reintroductions to predator-free islands off the New Zealand mainland if appropriate.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Coenocorypha aucklandica. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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