Gallirallus huiatua Steadman, Worthy, Anderson & Walter

Niue Rail (Gallirallus huiatua)

The Niue Rail was described in 2000 based on subfossil remains that had been found in deposits of the Anakuli Cave near the village of Hakupu on the the island of Niue.

These remains could be dated to an age of 5300 to 3600 years before present, thus predate human settlement on the island, however, there is, in my opinion, no doubt that the species nevertheless was extirpated by the first Polynesian settlers. [1]


The island of Niue is today inhabited by a subspecies of the Buff-banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis ssp. goodsoni (Mathews)) that also inhabites the Samoan Islands nearby.



[1] David W. Steadman; Trevor H. Worthy; Atholl j. Anderson;  Walter, Richard: New species and records of birds from prehistoric sites on Niue, southwest Pacific. Wilson Bulletin 112(2): 165–186. 2000


edited: 22.05.2019