Lewinia pectoralis clelandi Mathews, 1911:189

Cleland's rail, Lewin's water rail, Western Australian Lewin's rail



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Rallus pectoralis clelandi Mathews, 1911:189 (original combination); Dryolimnas pectoralis clelandi Mathews, 1911:189; Lewinia pectoralis clelandii Mathews, 1911:189


Conservation Status


Last record: December 1931 (specimen collected); October 1932 (sighting; Whittell, 1933)


The last confirmed sighting of Cleland's rail was at a swamp near Manjimup in the state's south-west in 1932 (Whittell, 1933; Burbidge & Blyth, 2008). But Lewin's rail's (Lewinia pectoralis) are notoriously elusive birds, and with some remaining habitat still present, the rediscovery of this subspecies is certainly possible.



south-west of Western Australia, Australia


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Mathews, Gregory Macalister. (1911). Rallus pectoralis clelandi: Western slate-breasted rail, pp. 189-190. The Birds of Australia, volume 1, part 4. London: Witherby.


Other references:

Burbidge, Allan and Blyth, John. (2008). Threatened & Rare Birds of Western Australia.  Kensington, Western Australia: Department of Environment and Conservation. (pp. 20-21)

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. (2011). Lewinia pectoralis clelandi in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sun, 2 Oct 2011 18:18:23 +1100.

Garnett, Stephen (ed.). (1992). Threatened and Extinct Birds of Australia. RAOU Report Number 82. 212 pp.

Garnett, S. T. and Crowley, G. M. (2000). The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000. Canberra, ACT: Environment Australia & Birds Australia.

Harrison, C. J. O. (1975). The Australian Subspecies of Lewin's Rail. Emu 75(1): 39-40.

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

Jaensch, R.P. (1987). Lewin's Rail breeding near Little Dip. South Australian Ornithologist. 30:78.

Jaensch, R.P., R.M. Vervest & M.J. Hewish. (1988). Waterbirds in nature reserves of south-western Australia 1981-1985: reserve accounts. RAOU Report 30.

Johnstone, J. (1989). Some notes on Lewin's Rail. Australian Bird Watcher 13: 70-71.

Johnstone, R. E. (2001). Checklist of the birds of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 63: 75-90.

Johnstone, R. E. and Darnell, J. C. (2015). Checklist of the Birds of Western Australia. Updated version of (Johnstone, 2001).

Leicester, M. (1960). Some notes on the Lewin Rail. Emu. 60: 20-24.

Mathews, Gregory. (1910-1911). The Birds of Australia, volume 1. London: Witherby & Co.

Saunders, Denis and Ingram, John. (1995). Birds of southwestern Australia: an atlas of changes in distribution and abundance of the Wheatbelt fauna. Chipping Norton: Surrey Beatty. 304 pp. [relevant citation?]

Sedgwick, E. H. (1940). The Birds of the Rockingham District. Emu 40: 129-152. [relevant citation?]

Serventy, D.L. (1948). The birds of the Swan River district, Western Australia. Emu. 47: 241-286.

Storr, G.M. (1991). Birds of the South-west Division of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum. Suppl. 35.

Taylor, B. and van Perlo, B. (1998). Rails: a guide to the rails, crakes, gallinules and coots of the world. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, UK.

Whittell, H.M. (1933). The birds of the Bridgetown District, south-west Australia. Emu 32: 182-189.

Woinarski, John C. Z., Legge, Sarah M. and Garnett, Stephen T. (2024). Extinct Australian birds: numbers, characteristics, lessons and prospects. Emu 124(1): 8-20.


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