Vitirallus watlingi T. H. Worthy

Viti Levu Rail (Vitirallus watlingi)

The Viti Levu Rail was described in 2004 based on subfossil remains collected from cave deposits on the island of Viti Levu, Fiji.

The species was flightless, it reached about the same size as the likewise extinct Bar-winged Rail (Gallirallus poecilopterus (Hartlaub)) but had a distinctly elongated beak. [1]

The Viti Levu Rail probably disappeared sometimes after the Fijian Islands were settled by humans some 3000 to 4000 years before present, it is, however, quite possible that this species might have survived into the time of the first appearance of Europeans even when there is yet no evidence for that.



[1] Trevor H. Worthy: The fossil rails (Aves: Rallidae) of Fiji with descriptions of a new genus species. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 34 (3): 295–314. 2004


edited: 16.09.2020