Myadestes lanaiensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Myadestes lanaiensis
Species Authority: (Wilson, 1891)
Common Name(s):
English Olomao, Hawaiian Thrush, Oloma'o

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Baker, H., Baker, P., Camp, R., Fretz, J., Gorresen, M., Lepson, J., VanderWerf, E., Wakelee, K. & Woodworth, B.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M., Isherwood, I., Khwaja, N., Stattersfield, A., Stuart, T., Symes, A. & Derhé, M.
The last well-documented sighting of this species was in 1994 (Clement and Hathway 2000), with an unconfirmed report in 1988, and no subsequent records despite further surveys in most of the historical range in Kamako'u-Pelekunu. It may have been driven extinct by disease spread by introduced mosquitoes, and as a result of habitat destruction. However, it cannot yet be presumed to be Extinct because the remote Oloku'i Plateau has not been resurveyed recently and could conceivably still harbour some birds. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and for these reasons it is treated as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct).

2012 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Myadestes lanaiensis is endemic to the central Hawaiian Islands, U.S.A., where it is (or was) known from Maui, Lana'i and Moloka'i. . The nominate subspecies of Lana'i was last seen in 1933 and is now extinct. The race rutha of Moloka'i and Maui is also likely to be extinct (Clement and Hathway 2000). It had been extirpated from Maui before ornithologists arrived, but possibly survived until the mid-19th century (J. Lepson in litt. 1999). Most of the historical range on Moloka'i in Kamako'u-Pelekunu has been resurveyed and the species has probably been extirpated from that area (DOFAW and PIERC 1995, Reynolds and Snetsinger 2001 unpubl. data); the last well-documented record from Moloka'i was in 1994 (Clement and Hathway 2000).  However, it cannot yet be presumed to be Extinct because the remote Oloku'i Plateau has not been resurveyed recently and could conceivably still harbour some birds. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny.

Possibly extinct:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Any remaining population is assumed to be tiny (numbering fewer than 50 individuals and mature individuals), with no records (confirmed or otherwise) since 1994.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a shy and retiring bird of the montane forest canopy, although in the late 1800s it was reported as ubiquitous in forests from the lowlands to the higher elevations on Moloka'i and Lana'i (Scott et al. 1986, Wakelee and Fancy 1999). Like its congeners, it is primarily frugivorous (Wakelee and Fancy 1999, K. Wakelee in litt. 1999).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species's drastic decline is probably attributable to the introduction of disease-carrying mosquitoes and habitat destruction. Mosquitoes were, until recently, restricted to the lowlands, but have followed the penetration of feral pigs into remote native rainforests over the last 25 years (Pratt 1994), and Moloka'i's uplands are probably too small to provide disease-free refugia. Pigs also modify native forests as they carry alien weeds to new areas and their rooting destroys the shrub layer (Pratt 1994), and introduced axis deer Axis axis are an additional problem (Loope and Medeiros 1995).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The Kamakou Preserve and neighbouring land have been partially fenced and control programmes exist for feral ungulates (H. Baker and P. Baker in litt. 1999). The Oloku'i Natural Area, established in 1986, protects pristine native forest (Scott et al. 1986) where M. lanaiensis may persist (Wakelee and Fancy 1999). Should it be rediscovered, consideration should be given to establishing a captive population at high elevation on East Maui, where the habitat is relatively intact and free of threat from mosquitoes and avian disease (USFWS 2003).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to locate any remaining populations and, if found, urgently assess action required for its recovery.

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Myadestes lanaiensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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