Gallirallus minor (Hamilton, 1892)

Little weka



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Ocydromus minor Hamilton, 1892 (original combination)


Now considered a synonym of G. australis (Holdaway & Worthy, 1997:93; Ioane-Warren et al., 2023).


Conservation Status

Invalid (synonym)

Last record: Holocene



South Island, New Zealand


Biology & Ecology





NMNZ S.00987 (Ioane-Warren et al., 2023)

NMNZ S.00988 (Ioane-Warren et al., 2023)

NMNZ S.00989 (Ioane-Warren et al., 2023)






Original scientific description:

Hamilton, A. (1892). On the fissures and caves at Castle Rocks, Southland; with a description of the remains of the existing and extinct birds found in them. Trans. N.Z. Inst. 25 88-106.

Other references:

Brodkorb, Pierce. (1967). Catalogue of fossil birds: Part 3 (Ralliformes, Ichthyornithiformes, Charadriiformes), Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences 11 3: 99-220

Falla, R. A. (1960). Notes on some bones collected by Dr. Watters and Mr. Lindsay at Chatham Islands. Notornis 8(7): 226-227.

Gill B.J.; Bell, B.D.; Chambers, G.K.; Medway, D.G.; Palma, R.L.; Scofield, R.P.; Tennyson, A.J.D.; Worthy, T.H. (2010). Checklist of the birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica. 4th edition. Wellington, Te Papa Press and Ornithological Society of New Zealand.

Holdaway, Richard N. and Worthy, Trevor H. (1997). A reappraisal of the late Quaternary fossil vertebrates of Pyramid Valley Swamp, North Canterbury, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 24: 69-121.

Ioane-Warren, Melanie et al. (2023). Augustus Hamilton’s fossil collection at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Tuhinga 34: 47-56.

Lambrecht, K. (1933). Handbuch der Palaeornithologie, 1-1024.

Medway, David G. (1967). Avian remains from new caves in Taumatamaire district. Notornis 14(3): 158-160.

Medway, David G. (1971). Sub-fossil avian remains from the Awakino - Mahoenui area. Notornis 18(3): 218-219.

Paulin, C. D. (1973). Sub-fossil avian remains from two limestone caves in North Taranaki. Mauri Ora 1: 95-98.

Rothschild, Lionel Walter. (1907). Extinct birds: an attempt to write in one volume a short account of those birds which have become extinct in historical times, that is within the last six or seven hundred years: to which are added a few which still exist, but are on the verge of extinction. London: Hutchinson & Co. XXIX + 243 pp. [p. 129]

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

Wragg, Graham M. (1981). The birds of Canterbury: history and present status. A dissertation presented as a requirement for the Diploma in Parks and Recreation (National Parks option). Lincoln College, New Zealand.


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