South Island Snipe Coenocorypha iredalei


Justification of Red List category
This species has been extirpated from its historic range by introduced mammalian predators; it was last recorded in 1964 and is classified as Extinct.

Population justification

Distribution and population

C. iredalei previously occurred on Stewart Island (New Zealand), but it is believed to have been extinct since 1964 (Szabo et al. 2012). Two individuals were found after the accidental introduction of black rats Rattus rattus onto Stewart Island in 1964. Both of these birds were taken into captivity but died soon after (Tennyson and Martinson 2006).


The species is assumed to have had similar habits to the extant C. aucklandica, and thought to have possessed a similar nocturnal aerial display (Miskelly 1999).


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). The accidental introduction of black rats Rattus rattus onto Stewart Island in 1964 presumably brought about the extinction of C. iredalei.

Conservation actions


20-23 cm. Small, plump variegated brown wader. Bill brown and slightly drooping, 4.5 cm; top of head striped black and brown/reddish brown; the underparts had bold cream and chocolate streaking on the throat and breast, changing to a few rufous-buff feathers with mid-brown fringes.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J., Martin, R, Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Miskelly, C.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Coenocorypha iredalei. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/south-island-snipe-coenocorypha-iredalei on 22/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 22/02/2024.