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Coenocorypha aucklandica 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Charadriiformes Scolopacidae

Scientific Name: Coenocorypha aucklandica (Gray, 1845)
Common Name(s):
English Auckland Snipe, New Zealand Snipe, Subantarctic Snipe
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.
Taxonomic Notes:

Coenocorypha aucklandica, C. huegeli, C. barrierensis and C. iredalei (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as C. aucklandica following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Identification information: 23 cm. Small, plump variegated brown wader. Bill brown and slightly drooping, 5 cm; top of head striped black and brown/reddish brown; rest of body mottled black and brown/reddish brown; female larger than male. Similar spp. No other Coenocorypha occurs within the range of C. aucklandica, but it is distinct from C. hugeli by virtue of its longer bill, unbarred mid-belly and more richly coloured upperparts. C. pusilla is much smaller. Voice Males have a territorial loud call consisting of a series of vibrant monosyllabic notes and also produce a non-vocal nocturnal display noise likened to the sound of a passing jet or a chain being lowered onto a boat.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Miskelly, C. & McClelland, P.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J. & Symes, A.
Justification:
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.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:C. aucklandica is endemic to New Zealand, where it is found on the Auckland Islands (excluding the main island; nominate C. a. aucklandica), the Antipodes Islands (20 km2) (form meinertzhagenae) and Jacquemart Island (0.2 km2) in the Campbell Island group (form perseverance). C. a. perseverance was not known to exist before a chance discovery on Jacquemart Island in 1997, but has since recolonised the main Campbell Island from Jacquemart Island following the eradication of Norway rats in 2001, and is now rapidly spreading over the 12,300 ha island (Miskelly 2013, P. McClelland in litt. 2013).

Countries occurrence:
Native:
New Zealand
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:125000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:6-10Continuing 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:Encounter rates on Adams Island were more than three times higher than in similar habitat on Antipodes Island, where snipe coexist with mice (Miskelly 2013). Adams Island (10,119 ha) is likely to hold tens of thousands of birds, based on recorded densities of at least 4 birds/ha on other islands, while the colonising population on Campbell is likely to number in the hundreds and increasing. The total area occupied by the species is about 11,540 ha in the Auckland Islands, 2,060 ha in the Antipodes Islands, and about 3,000 ha on Campbell Island (with a total of 11,290 ha available there to colonise) (Miskelly 2013). A preliminary estimate places the total population in the band 20,000-49,999 mature individuals, but the true figure may be higher.



Trend Justification:  The population has ceased to decline and is increasing following predator eradication and recolonisation of Campbell Island.
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:20000-49999Continuing 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: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), with a clutch laid in early January (Higgins and Davies 1996).

Systems:Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):5.7
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

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 closely related species, 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. 2016. Coenocorypha aucklandica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22727499A94950981. . Downloaded on 23 September 2017.
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