Hemignathus ellisianus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Fringillidae

Scientific Name: Hemignathus ellisianus
Species Authority: (Gray, 1859)
Common Name(s):
English Greater Akialoa
Taxonomic Notes: Hemignathus obscurus (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) was previously split into obscura following AOU (1998) and Brooks (2000), and ellisiana, lanaiensis and stejnegeri following Brooks (2000), who also transferred these species to the genus Akialoa. The latter three taxa are now lumped as H. ellisianus following AOU (1998).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A. & Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Brooks, T., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N. & Mahood, S.
This species was found in the Hawaiian Islands, USA, but it is now Extinct as a result of forest clearance and introduced disease. The last report was of the subspecies stejnegeri on Kaua'i in 1969.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Extinct (EX)
2004 Not Recognized (NR)
2000 Not Recognized (NR)
1994 Not Recognized (NR)
1988 Not Recognized (NR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Hemignathus ellisianus forms a complex of three subspecies, all of which are now considered extinct. The nominate was endemic the mountains of O'ahu, Hawaii, USA (Stattersfield et al. 1998). It is known from only two specimens collected in 1837 (Olson and James 1995), although there were undocumented reports in 1937 and 1940 (Greenway 1967). H. e. lanaiensis was found on Lana'i, Hawaii (Stattersfield et al. 1998). It is known from only three specimens, collected in 1892. In addition, fossil material allied to this taxon has been found on Moloka'i and Maui. H. e. stejnegeri was found on Kaua'i, Hawaii (Olson and James 1995, Stattersfield et al. 1998). It survived for the longest of any of the three subspecies, in Kaua'i's Alaka'i Wilderness Preserve, but has not been recorded since 1969 despite intensive surveys in the region and is presumed extinct (Olson and James 1995, Gorresen et al. 2009).

Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
United States (Hawaiian Is.)
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme 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.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabited all forest up types above 200 m (Gorresen et al. 2009), feeding on insects and nectar (Amante-Helweg et al. 2009).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 5.5
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): All three subspecies are thought to have been driven to extinction by habitat destruction and disease (Collar et al. 1994). Introduced predators and hurricane damage are likely to have also been important on Kaua'i (Woodworth et al. 2009).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Hemignathus ellisianus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22729133A38743657. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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