Brown-banded Rail Lewinia mirifica


Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Data Deficient because there are few recent records and almost nothing known of its distribution, population, ecology and threats, thus an assessment of its threat status is currently not possible.

Population justification
See Geographic Range above for population details.

Trend justification
The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the extent of threats to the species.

Distribution and population

Lewinia mirifica is known from only Luzon in the Philippines, although breeding there has not been confirmed (Collar et al. 1999). It was formerly suggested to occur on Samar (1999), although the specimen this was derived from was later assessed to be an immature L. striata (Allen and Collar 2008). The vast majority of records derive from the migration funnel, and bird-catching site, of Dalton Pass on Luzon, where over 200 were recorded between 1965 and 1970, suggesting that it may persist in reasonable numbers, and that it is migratory. In October 2009, 10 individuals were recorded as they were caught by bird-trappers (Allen 2010). Although breeding and non-breeding areas are uncertain, these records infer movements either between the Cagayan valley and Luzon's central plain, or between the Cordillera Central and the Sierra Madre mountains; if the former is true, the records from south Luzon may relate to overshooting migrants. Recently an individual was observed in degraded cloudforest at 2,240 m on Mount Data, Luzon in January 2001. The bird was heard to call (a frog-like accelerating series of clicking notes), and the same call was heard in cloudforest at 1,100 m on Mayon Volcano in Southern Luzon (Dinets 2001).


Although it has been speculated that it has strict habitat requirements, if these are similar to its congener (and possibly conspecific) Lewin's Rail L. pectoralis, it may prove to be rather cosmopolitan in its preferences, as the few documented details (cloudforest, near pine forest, and in a small undisturbed riverside swamp), from 550-2,250 m, imply.


The only known threat is hunting (evidenced at Dalton Pass), although the impact of this on its population cannot currently be gauged.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None are known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Prioritise fieldwork to clarify the distribution and habitat requirements of the species and to locate viable populations at sites where it might be effectively protected.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Westrip, J., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Lowen, J.

Collar, N.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Lewinia mirifica. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/03/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/03/2021.