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New Caledonian Rail

Gallirallus lafresnayanus


The New Caledonian Rail has not been recorded since 1890, and is believed to have a total population size of below 50 mature individuals, if not extinct.

There have been reports that this species may survive in small numbers in New Caledonia near Mt Panié in the north and the headwaters of Rivière Blanche in the south in the 1960s, suggesting this species can remain in largely inaccessible montane forests. This species is part of the Gallirallus genus which diverged from all other genera in the Rallidae family 9.89 million years ago. This species is likely to have been made extinct from predation by cats, pigs and rats that were introduced to the island. There are also historical records of the birds being caught by hunting dogs. This species may be benefiting from the conservation actions for Rhynochetos jubatus, as this has led to the control of introduced mammalian predators. The only measures taking place are in the Rivière Bleue Park, where the occurrence of the rail is very unlikely.

  • Order: Gruiformes
  • Family: Rallidae
  • Population: Possibly extinct
  • Trend: unknown
  • Size: 44cm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.36 (?)
ED Score: 12.27 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


This species is known from New Caledonia, apparently including lle des Pins.

Habitat and Ecology

This species is presumed to have inhabited evergreen forests. It has been recorded from near sea level up to 1,000 metres above sea level. This species probably feeds on a variety of invertebrates, including earthworms.

Find out more

This wordcloud illustrates the threats facing this species. The size of each word indicates the extent of a species range that is affected by that threat (larger size means a greater area is affected). The colour of the word indicates how much that threat impacts the species (darker shades of red mean the threat is more severe).

Invasive species

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
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