White Swamphen Porphyrio albus


Justification of Red List Category
This species was known from Lord Howe Island, Australia, but has not been definitely recorded since 1790 and was Extinct by the time the island was settled in 1834. Hunting was the major cause of its decline.

Population justification
None remain.

Distribution and population

Porphyrio albus is known from two skins in Liverpool and Vienna (Taylor and van Perlo 1998), several paintings, and some subfossil bones from Lord Howe Island, Australia (Marchant and Higgins 1993). Although not uncommon when discovered in 1790, the species was rapidly hunted to extinction; it had probably already vanished by the time the island was colonised in 1834 (Hindwood 1940).


Nothing is known, it may have inhabited forest or marshland.


It was hunted to extinction by whalers and sailors.


Text account compilers
Brooks, T., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S., Martin, R

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Porphyrio albus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/03/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/03/2019.