Coenocorypha iredalei Rothschild, 1921:63

South Island snipe, Stewart Island snipe, Iredale's snipe (proposed), Tutukiwi



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Coenocorypha aucklandica iredalei Rothschild, 1921:63


Conservation Status


Last record: 1 September 1964

IUCN RedList status: Extinct



Jacky Lee Island, Big South Cape Island, South Island & Stewart Island (all New Zealand)


Possibly also inhabited the South Island of New Zealand during historical times (Medway, 2007).


Biology & Ecology




According to (Worthy et al., 2002:237):

MNZ 11146

MNZ 1522

MNZ 1523

MNZ 11206



Five photos were taken by William Herbert Guthrie-Smith in November 1923 on Big South Cape Island, which are reproduced in (Miskelly & de Lange, 2006).


A photo of one of the last two captive birds in September 1964 by Don Merton:


Above: South Island Snipe / Tutukiwi. Coenocorypha iredalei. From the series: Extinct Birds of New Zealand., 2004, Masterton, by Paul Martinson. Purchased 2006. © Te Papa. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Te Papa (2006-0010-1/52)




Original scientific description:

Rothschild, W. (1921). ["Coenocorypha aucklandica iredalei, subsp. nov."]. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 41: 63.


Other references:

Anonymous. (1964). List of rare birds, including those thought to be so but of which detailed information is still lacking. IUCN Bulletin 10(Special Supplement): 4 pp.

Bell, B. D. (1978). The Big South Cape Islands rat irruption. In: P.R. Dingwall; I.A.E.Atkinson; C. Hay (eds.) The Ecology and control of rodents in New Zealand Nature Reserves. Department of Lands and Survey. Wellington.

BirdLife International. (2014). Coenocorypha iredalei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. ( Downloaded on 26 July 2014.

BirdLife International. 2016. Coenocorypha iredalei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22727515A94951415. Accessed on 30 June 2022.

Guthrie-Smith, H. (1936). Sorrows and joys of a New Zealand naturalist. Dunedin: Reed.

Harper, G. A. (2009). The native forest birds of Stewart Island/Rakiura: patterns of recent declines and extinctions. Notornis 56(2): 63-81.

Hartert, E. (1927). Types of birds in the Tring Museum. Novitates Zoologicae 34: 1-38.

Heather, B. D. and Robertson, H. A. 1997. The field guide to the birds of New Zealand. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Higgins, P. J. and Davies, S. J. J. F. (eds.). (1996). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand & Antarctic birds. Vol. 3 - Snipe to Pigeons. Melbourne, Oxford University Press.

Holdaway, Richard N., Worthy, Trevor H. and Tennyson, Alan J. D. (2001). A working list of breeding bird species of the New Zealand region at first human contact. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 28: 119-187.

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

Hume, Julian Pender and Walters, Michael. (2012). Extinct Birds. London: T & AD Poyser. 544 pp.

Knox, Alan G. and Walters, Michael P. (1994). Extinct and endangered birds in the collections of The Natural History Museum. British Ornithologists' Club Occasional Publications 1: 1-292. [p. 132]

Medway, David G. (2007). A possible live South Island snipe (Coenocorypha iredalei) at Dusky Sound in 1773. Notornis 54: 237-238.

Merton, Don. (2004). The legacy of Big South Cape: forty years on. Titi Times: Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand 14: 12-14.

Miskelly, Colin M. (1987). The identity of the hakawai. Notornis 34: 95-116.

Miskelly, Colin M. (1988). The Little Barrier Snipe. Notornis 35(4): 273-281.

Miskelly, C.M. 1999. Evidence for ‘hakawai’ aerial displaying by Snares Island snipe ( Coenocorypha aucklandica huegeli ). Notornis 52(3): 163-165.

Miskelly, Colin M. (2012). Discovery and extinction of the South Island snipe ([i]Coenocorypha iredalei[/i]) on islands around Stewart Island. Notornis 59(1-2): 15-31.

Miskelly, Colin M. (2013). South Island snipe. In: Miskelly, C. M. (ed.). New Zealand Birds Online. Available from:

Miskelly, Colin M., Bell, Elizabeth A., Eliott, Graeme P. and Walker, Kath J. (2006). ‘Hakawai’ aerial displaying by three populations of subantarctic snipe (genus Coenocorypha). Notornis 53: 375-381.

Miskelly, Colin M. and de Lange, Peter J. (2006). Notes on the breeding ecology of the extinct Stewart Island snipe (Notes on the breeding ecology of the extinct Stewart Island snipe (Coenocorypha aucklandica iredalei)). Notornis 53(4): 339-352.

Miskelly, Colin M., Charteris, M. R. and Fraser, J. R. (2012). Successful translocation of Snares Island snipe (Coenocorypha huegeli) to replace the extinct South Island snipe (C. iredalei). Notornis 59(1-2): 32-38.

Oliver, W. R. B. (1930). New Zealand birds. Wellington: Fine Arts.

Oliver, W. R. B. (1955). New Zealand birds, 2nd edition. Wellington: A. H. & A. W. Reed. [contains a b&w photograph] ["Oliver's (1955) report of an unconfirmed sight record from near Auckland early this century [i.e. 1900's] is probably erroneous (Turbott 1961)" (Williams' 1962:22)]

Robertson, H. A., Baird, K. A., Elliott, G. P., Hitchmough, R. A., McArthur, N. J., Makan, T. D., Miskelly, Colin M., O’Donnell, C. F. J., Sagar, P. M., Scofield, R. P., Taylor, G. A. and Michel, P. (2021). Conservation status of birds in Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 36. Department of Conservation, Wellington. 43 pp.

Hugh Robertson, John Dowding, Graeme Elliott, Rod Hitchmough, Colin Miskelly, Colin O’Donnell, Ralph Powlesland, Paul Sagar, Paul Scofield, Graeme Taylor. (2013). Conservation status of New Zealand birds, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 4. 22 pp.

Scott, Peter (ed.). (1965). Preliminary List of Rare Mammals and Birds, pp. 155-237. In: The Launching of a New Ark. First Report of the President and Trustees of the World Wildlife Fund. An International Foundation for saving the world's wildlife and wild places 1961-1964. London: Collins.

Szabo J. K., Khwaja, N., Garnett S. T., Butchart S. H. M. (2012). Global Patterns and Drivers of Avian Extinctions at the Species and Subspecies Level. PLoS ONE 7(10): e47080. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047080

Tennyson, Alan J. D. and Martinson, Paul. (2006). Extinct Birds of New Zealand. Wellington: Te Papa Press.

Turbott, E. G. (1961). Little Barrier Island (Hauturu). In: Hamilton, W. M. (compiler). N. Z. Dept. Sci. Ind. Res. Bull. 137: 136-175.

Williams, G. R. (1962). Extinction and the land and freshwater-inhabiting birds of New Zealand. Notornis 10(1): 15-32. [p. 19, 22]

Wilson, R. A. (1959). Bird islands of New Zealand. Christchurch: Whitcombe & Tombs.

Worthy, Trevor H., Miskelly, Colin M. and Ching, Bob A. (R.). (2002). Taxonomy of North and South Island snipe (Aves: Scolopacidae: Coenocorypha), with analysis of a remarkable collection of snipe bones from Greymouth, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 29(3): 231-244.

Worthy, Trevor H. and Zhao, J. X. (2006). A late Pleistocene predator-accumulated avifauna from Kids Cave, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand. Alcheringa Special Issue 1: 389-408.


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