Lewinia pectoralis exsul Hartert, 1898:50
Flores rail, Flores Lewin's rail
Taxonomy & Nomenclature
Synonym/s: Hypotaenidia brachypus exsul Hartert, 1898:50
Last record: 1 February 1974 (Mees, 2006)
Relocated or rediscovered: 2 March 2020 (audio recording by Yovie Jehabut)
Previously only known from a small number of specimens dated 1896-1974, an audio recording of this subspecies was made by local eco tour operator Yovie Jehabut in early March 2020. He has made specific searches for the species, but has not yet seen an individual (Dr. Colin Trainor, pers. comm. 21 February 2021).
Prior to (Mees, 2006), the most recent record of the species was considered to be 1958-59 (Paynter, 1963; fide Taylor & van Perlo, 1998), which was still being repeated after 2006 by (Hume & Walters, 2012) who considered the subspecies to be "possibly extinct". However, as rails can be notoriously difficult to spot, and much habitat remains, this suggestion may have been somewhat premature. Therefore, the audio recording is taken here to be more modestly either the relocation or rediscovery of the subspecies, rather than an unequivocal rediscovery.
Flores, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia
Biology & Ecology
Original scientific description:
Hartert, Ernst Johann Otto. (1898). On the birds of South Flores (Part II). Novitates Zoologicae 5(1): 42-50.
Hume, Julian Pender and Walters, Michael. (2012). Extinct Birds. London: T & AD Poyser.
Yovie Jehabut, XC531694. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/531694
Mees, G. F. (2006). The avifauna of Flores (Lesser Sunda islands). Zool. Meded. Leiden 80(3): 1-261.
Paynter, R. A. Jr. (1963). Birds from Flores, Lesser Sunda Islands. Breviora 182: 1-5.
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.
Taylor, P. B. and Van Perlo, B. (1998). Rails: A Guide to the Rails, Crakes, Gallinules and Coots of the World. Pica Press, Robertsbridge.
Trainor, Colin R. and Verbelen, Philippe. (2016). Lewin’s Rail Lewinia pectoralis exsul on Flores, Indonesia: its history, status and where to look for it. BirdingASIA 26: 47-52.