Hawaiian Rail Zapornia sandwichensis


Justification of Red List Category
This species was found in the Hawaiian Islands, USA, but has been driven Extinct by the depredations of introduced cats. The last record of the species dates from 1884.

Population justification
See Geographic Range text.

Distribution and population

Zapornia sandwichensis occurred on the east side of Hawai'i, USA, and may also have occurred on Molokai (Pratt et al. 1987). It is known from bones and a number of specimens (Olson and James 1991), and was illustrated by Ellis on Cook's third voyage (Stresemann 1950). The last specimen was collected in 1864 and the last report was in 1884, or possibly 1893 (Taylor 1998).


It inhabited clearings in upland forest.


The timing of its extinction indicates that it was perhaps not caused by mongooses, as they were not introduced until 1883. More probably, it was due to a long process of predation by rats, cats, dogs and people (Taylor 1998).


Text account compilers
Brooks, T., Khwaja, N. & Mahood, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Zapornia sandwichensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 14/07/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 14/07/2020.