Zapornia sandwichensis Gmelin, 1789:717

Hawaiian rail, Hawaiian crake, Sandwich rail



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Porzana sandwichensis Gmelin, 1789:717; Porzana sandwichensis sandwichensis Gmelin, 1789:717; Pennula sandwichensis Gmelin, 1789:717; Rallus sandwichensis Gmelin, 1789:717; Pennula wilsoni Finsch, 1898:77; Pennula millsi (Dole, 1878:54); Porzana millsi (Dole, 1878:54); Porzana sandwichensis millsi (Dole, 1878:54); Porzana millei (Dole, 1878:54); Pennula millei (Dole, 1878:54); Pennula ecaudata Wilson & Evans, 1894:171


Sometimes considered as two different subspecies (sandwichensis and millsi) (e.g. Hume & Walters, 2012:103-104), millsi is considered a synonym by (Taylor, 1998), a taxonomic opinion followed here.


Conservation Status


Last record: 1860's (1864 or later; Hume & Walters, 2012:103-104); 1884 (Rothschild, 1907)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct



Hawaiian Islands, USA


Biology & Ecology




There are seven extant museum specimens (Olson, 1999).


[b]Syntype:[/b] [url=]RMNH 87450[/url]






Original scientific description:

Gmelin, Johann Friedrich (1789). [Description of Porzana sandwichensis]. In: Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (13th ed.) 1, part II: 717. Georg Emanuel Beer, Lipsiae [Leipzig]


Other references:

BirdLife International. (2000). Threatened Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge.

BirdLife International. (2012). Zapornia sandwichensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. ( Downloaded on 26 July 2014.

BirdLife International. 2016. Zapornia sandwichensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22692693A93364994. Accessed on 18 June 2022.

Brooks, T. 2000. Extinct species. In: BirdLife International (ed.), Threatened Birds of the World, pp. 701-708. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge, U.K.

Ehrlich, Paul R., Dobkin, David S. and Wheye, Darryl. (1992). Birds in Jeopardy: The Imperiled and Extinct Birds of the United States and Canada, Including Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. 259 pp.

Elphick, Chris S., Roberts, David L. and Reed, J. Michael. (2010). Estimated dates of recent extinctions for North American and Hawaiian birds. Biological Conservation 143: 617-624.

Finsch, O. (1898). On the so-called "Sandwich Rail" in the Leiden Museum. Notes of the Leyden Museum 20: 77-80.

Fuller, Errol. (1988). Extinct Birds. New York: Facts on File Publications. 256 pp.

Greenway, J. C. (1967). Extinct and Vanishing Birds of the World. New York: Dover Publications.

Henshaw, H. W. (1903). Birds of the Hawaiian Islands. Being a complete list of the birds of the Hawaiian Possessions with notes on their habits. Honolulu: Thos G. Thrum.

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.

Jansen, Justin J. F. J. and Roe, Richard S. (2013). Tracking Cook’s third voyage (1776–79) Hawaiian Rails Porzana sandwichensis, with some comments on their type status. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 133(1): 59-67.

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.

Latham, J. A. (1871-85). General synopsis of birds, volume 2. London: J. Van Voorst.

Manning, A. (1982). Hawaiian and Laysan Rails: S. B. Dole corresponds with A. Agassiz. Elpaio 42: 87.

Olson, Storrs L. (1999). Laysan Rail (Porzana palmeri), Hawaiian Rail (Porzana sandwichensis). The birds of North America Number 426.

Olson, Storrs L. and James, Helen F. (1991). Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part 1. Non-passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-88.

Pease, W. H. (1862). Notice of a wingless bird or moho, and a raven found in the island of Hawaii. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 30(1): 145.

Perkins, R. C. L. (1903). Vertebrata, pp. 365-466. In: Sharp, D. (ed.). Fauna Hawaiiensis or the zoology of the Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands. Volume 1, part 4. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pratt, H. D.; Bruner, P. L.; Berrett, D. G. 1987. A field guide to the birds of Hawaii and the tropical Pacific. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Roberts, D. L. and Jarić, I. (2016). Inferring extinction in North American and Hawaiian birds in the presence of sighting uncertainty. PeerJ 4: e2426.

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. 138, pl. 26]

Slikas, Beth, Olson, Storrs L. and Fleischer, Robert C. (2002). Rapid, independent evolution of flightlessness in four species of Pacific Island rails (Rallidae): an analysis based on mitochondrial sequence data. Journal of Avian Biology 33: 5-14.

Stresemann, Erwin. (1950). Birds collected during Capt. James Cook's last expedition (1776-1780). Auk 67(1): 66-88.

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

Tyrberg, Tommy. (2009). Holocene avian extinctions, pp. 63-106. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Wilson, S. and Evans, A. H. (1890-99). Aves Hawaiiensis: the birds of the Sandwich Islands. London: R. H. Porter.


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