Category Archives: 7.Aves

Buteo japonicus ssp. oshiroi Kuroda

Daito Island Buzzard (Buteo japonicus ssp. oshiroi)

This subspecies of the Eastern – or Japanese Buzzard (Buteo japonicus (Temminck & Schlegel)) (see depiction below) was described in 1971, it was apparently restricted to the Daito Islands, Japan.

The type “specimen” was apparently captured alive and was kept in captivity but managed to escape 14 years (?) later.

The Daito Islands form was similar to the nominate race, but is said to have been smaller and to have furthermore differed by its more reddish color. [1]

***

The taxonomic status of the Daito Island Buzzard, however, is debatable.

***

syn. Buteo buteo ssp. oshiroi Kuroda

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Japanese Buzzard (Buteo japonicus); nominate race

Depiction from: ‘Philipp Franz von Siebold: Fauna Japonica, sive, Descriptio animalium, quae in itinere per Japoniam, jussu et auspiciis, superiorum, qui summum in India Batava imperium tenent, suscepto, annis 1823-1830. Lugduni Batavorum: Apud Auctorem 1833-1850’

(public domain)

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References:

[1] Anthony H. James: Geographic variation in the buzzard Buteo buteo (L.): japonicus-group (Aves: Accipitridae). Beaufortia 38(4): 57-74. 1988

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edited: 26.09.2019

Glaucidium mooreorum da Silva, Coelho & Pedreira

Pernambuco Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium mooreorum)

The Pernambuco Pygmy Owl was described in 2002, it is/was restricted to the state of Pernambuco in eastern Brazil.

The species was restricted to an extremely small range when it was described, and the population was estimated to count only about 50 birds or perhaps even less.

***

The Pernambuco Pygmy Owl is now considered extinct, since the only known habitat of the species is now nearly completely destroyed. [1]

***

The photo below shows a related taxon, the Ferruginous Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum (Gmelin)), a species that occurs also in Pernambuco, Brazil.

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Ferruginous Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum); nominate form

Photo: Gustavo Sandres
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/sandres
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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References:

[1] Stuart H. M. Butchart; Stephen Lowe; Rob W. Martin; Andy Symes; James R. S. Westrip; Hannah Wheatley: Which bird species have gone extinct? A novel quantitative classification approach. Biological Conservation 227: 9-18. 2018

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edited: 18.02.2024

Edolisoma coerulescens ssp. alterum Wardlaw-Ramsay

Cebu Blackish Cicadabird (Edolisoma coerulescens ssp. alterum)

The Blackish Cicadabird (Edolisoma coerulescens (Blyth)) is endemic to the Philippines, where three subspecies are recognized, of which two again are now considered extinct, leaving only the nominate race which inhabits the islands of Catanduanes and Luzon in the northern part of the Philippines.

***

The Cebu Blackish Cicadabird, which was endemic to the island of Cebu, was described in 1881, originally as a distinct species.

The form was not recorded since 1906 and probably died out sometimes after that date due to the extreme deforestation of its habitat.

***

syn. Coracina coerulescens ssp. altera (Wardlaw-Ramsay), Edolisoma alterum Wardlaw-Ramsay

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Blackish Cicadabird (Edolisoma coerulescens); nominate form

Photo: Forest Botial-Jarvis
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/tiluchi
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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edited: 06.02.2024

Rallidae gen. & sp. ‘Ilha da Trindade’

Trindade Rail (Rallidae gen. & sp.)

The Ilha da Trindade is a volcanic island that is located in the Atlantic Ocea, about 1150 km offshore the Brazilian eastern coast.

The island harbors some sea birds but is surprisingly lacking any land birds, a situation that is highly unlikely, not only in my own opinion ….:

In my opinion, it is highly unlikely that there was not an endemic species of rail (Rallidae) on Trindade in the past, as there was ample habitat and these birds successfully colonized all the other South Atlantic islands …. That I was unable to find any fossil remains of such a bird may perhaps be attributed to my usual good fortune temporarily running out. The great abundance of land crabs on Trindade may also have reduced the chances of any rail carcasses surviving long enough to be preserved, although this did not prevent rail bones from being fossilized on Fernando de Noronha, where land crabs also occur.” [1]

If there have been any land birds living on the island (and there surely have), they must have become extinct very shortly after the discovery of the island in 1502, followed by the inevitable introduction of cats, mice (but fortunately no rats) and several kinds of grazing mammals.

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References:

[1] S. L. Olson: Natural history of vertebrates on the Brazilian islands of the mid South Atlantic. National Geographic Society Research Reports 13: 481-492. 1981

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edited: 03.05.2022

Branta hylobadistes Olson & James 

Great Nene (Branta hylobadistes)

The Great Nene was described in 1991 based on subfossil bones found on the island of Maui (it may also have lived at least on the neighboring islands of Lana’i and Moloka’i). 

The extinct species was slightly larger than the Hawaiian Nene (Branta sandvicensis (Vigors)) (see photo below) but was otherwise quite identical to that species.

*** 

Some of the bones, that are assigned to this species, come from individuals that were still volant while others appear to have been flightless. [1]

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Hawaii Geese (Branta sandvicensis)  

Photo: Kim Starr & Forest Starr; by courtesy of Kim Starr & Forest Starr  
http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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References:  

[1] S. L. Olson; H. F. James: Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part I. Non-Passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-91. 1991  

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edited: 05.05.2022

Turdus sp. ‘Gymnesian Islands’

Gymnesian Thrush (Turdus sp.)

This form is known from fossil remains that were found on the island of Mallorca, Spain and that are of Late Paleistocene/Early Holocene age.

They appear to be at least 10% larger than corresponding compariative material of the largest known Turdus spp. and may be identical with another large thrush species that was described in 2004 as Meridiocichla salotti Louchart. [1]

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References:

[1] Antoine Louchart: An extinct large thrush (Aves: Turdidae) from the late Quaternary of Mediterranean Europe. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie 233(2): 257-296. 2004

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edited: 02.01.2023

Nesoenas picturata ssp. rostrata (Bonaparte)

Seychelles Turtle Dove (Nesoenas picturata ssp. rostrata)

The Seychelles Turtle Dove is a subspecies of the Madagascar Turtle Dove (Nesoenas picturata (Temminck)); as its name implies, it inhabited to Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. It is known to have inhabited at least the islands of Cousin and Cousine, Mahé and Praslin, as well as Aride- and Bird Island, where the last pure-bred birds were found.

The form is sometimes considered a full species; it disappeared du to hybridization with (nominate) Madagascar Turtle Doves, that somehow reached the Seychelles, either by themselves or with human aid. No pure-bred birds are known to exist now; however, their genes live on in the turtle dove population that now inhabits the Seychelles.
***

syn. Streptopelia picturata ssp. rostrata (Bonaparte)

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References:

[1] Julian P. Hume: Extinct Birds. 2. Edition. Bloomsbury Natural History 2017

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edited: 07.05.2022

Philydor novaesi Teixeira & Gonzaga

Alagoas Foliage-Gleaner (Philydor novaesi)

The Alagoas Foliage-Gleaner was described in 1983, it was restricted to the states of Alagoas and Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil, where it preferablky inhabited tropical lowland forest but was also found in second-growth forest at elevations of up to 400 to 550 m.

The species apparently was most closely related to the Black-capped Foliage-gleaner (Philydor atricapillus (Wied)) (see photo), it reached a size of about 18 cm and was mainly inconspicuously brown colored.

The Alagoas Foliage-Gleaner has disappeared from its former distribution area due to habitat destruction mainly by forest clearance for agricultural purposes, since 2018 it is considered most likely extinct.

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Black-capped Foliage-gleaner (Philydor atricapillus)

Photo: Dario Sanches
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

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edited: 01.09.2019

Sylvietta chapini Schouteden

Chapin’s Crombec (Sylvietta chapini)

This species, also known as the Lendu Crombec, described in 1947, was restricted to the Lendu Plateau in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The species is often considered a subspecies of the White-browed Crombec (Sylvietta leucophrys Sharpe) (see photo below) but differs significantly from that species and should indeed be treated as distinct. [1]

Chapin’s Crombec has not been recorded in recent times and seems to be extinct.

***

syn. Sylvietta leucophrys ssp. chapini Schouteden

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White-browed Crombec (Sylvietta leucophrys)

Photo: Nik Borrow
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/nikborrow
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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References:

[1] L. D. C. Fishpool; N. J. Collar: The taxonomic and conservation status of Chapin’s Crombec Sylvietta (leucophrys) chapini. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 13(2): 130-135. 2006
[2] Stuart H. M. Butchart; Stephen Lowe; Rob W. Martin; Andy Symes; James R. S. Westrip; Hannah Wheatley: Which bird species have gone extinct? A novel quantitative classification approach. Biological Conservation 227: 9-18. 2018

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edited: 17.01.2024

Erpornis zantholeuca ssp. saani Chasen

Sumatran Erpornis (Erpornis zantholeuca ssp. saani)

This taxon was described in 1939; it is apparently known from a single specimen that had been obtained somewhere in north-western Sumatra, Indonesia as well as from three additional records.

The Sumatran birds differ from the other subspecies by their greenish back and a slightly darker crest.

This taxon might well be extinct now.

***

The photo below shows another subspecies, the Greyish Erpornis (Erpornis zantholeuca ssp. canescensDelacour & Jabouille) which is endemic to the island of Borneo, Indonesia.

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Bornean Erpornis (Erpornis zantholeuca ssp. brunnescens)

Photo: Spark
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/sparkn
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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edited: 24.01.2024

Leiothrix lutea ssp. astleyi Delacour

Astley’s Red-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea ssp. astleyi)

Astley’s Red-billed Leiothrix, described in 1921, is apparently known from two specimens, a male and a female that were found in an aviary somewhere in China.

This form differs from the other subspecies by its forehead and crown being strongly tinged with orange-scarlet instead of being olive green; by the eyebrows and ear coverts being likewise strongly tinged with orange-scarlet instead of being greyish or greenish white; the breast is said to be strongly scarlet instead of yellow and orange; the female is paler and has the ear coverts are yellowish orange. 

According to this description these birds were superficially obviously quite similar to the one depicted below.

Astley’s Red-billed Leiothrix, whose taxonomical status is disputed, has never been recorded since its description and, if indeed it is a distinct taxon, is now extinct. [1]

***

syn. Leiothrix astleyi Delacour

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Red-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea ssp.) unspecified subspecies, photographed in Japan where it has been introduced and is now feral

Photo: Alpsdake
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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References:

[1] Julian P. Hume: Extinct Birds. 2. Edition. Bloomsbury Natural History 2017

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edited: 22.01.2024

Hemignathus sp. ‘Hawaii Nukupuu’

Hawaii Nukupuu (Hemignathus sp.)

The island of Hawai’i today is the home of the Akiapolaau (Hemignathus wilsoni (Rothschild)) (see depiction below), the last of the so-called hetero-billed finches, a group of Hawaiian drepenidine finches with extremely strange bills in which the lower beak is short and, depending on the species, curved up- or downwards, and the upper beak significantly longer and down curved.

This species is depicted below.

The island of Hawai’i, however, once also harbored at least two other hetero-billed finch species, namely the so-called Giant Nukupuu (Hemignathus vorpalis Olson & James), known only by subfossil remains, and the ‘actual’ Nukupuu (Hemignathus aff. lucidus), which is known by a single historical specimen, and which most certainly represented a full and endemic species.

More about this enigmatic form follows below.:

***

Hemignathus lucidus subspp. indet.

A historic specimen of this species, of indeterminate race, was collected on the island of Hawaii by the U.S. Exploring Expedition in 1840 or 1841, but the species was never again taken on that island. A fossil almost certainly of this species was also recovered from sand dune deposits on Molokai.
” [2]

The authors treat all Nukupuu forms as a single species, thus this somewhat misleading statement –  the fossil from Moloka’i, of course, is more closely related to the Maui Nukupuu (Hemignathus affinis Rothschild) from Maui.

This sole Hawaii Nukupuu specimen very likely constitutes a sub-adult individual, its plumage appearing to had been in the stage of molting into a yellower garb; the dorsum, the crown and the wings are dull olive with a grayish cast; the underparts are creamy whitish; yellow feathers appear on the lower cheeks and on the midline of the throat and the sides of the upper breast, forming a sort of inverted Y; it also had a faint yellow superciliary line. [1]

This is perhaps one of the most enigmatic of the many Hawaiian drepanidine finches and is shows that these islands have lost an unimaginable precious treasure trove of diversity!

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Akiapolaau (Hemignathus wilsoni)

Depiction from: ‘W. Rothschild: The Avifauna of Laysan and the neighbouring islands with a complete history to date of the birds of the Hawaiian possession. 1893-1900’      

(public domain)

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References:

[1] Storrs Olson & Helen F. James: A specimen of Nuku pu’u (Aves: Drepanidini: Hemignathus lucidus) from the island of Hawai’i. Pacific Science 48(4): 331-338. 1994
[2] Storrs Olson & Helen F. James: Nomenclature of the Hawaiian Akialoas and Nukupuus (Aves: Drepanidini). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 108(3): 373-387. 1995

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edited: 09.10.2020

Chloridops regiskongi Olson & James

King Kong Finch (Chloridops regiskongi)

The King Kong Finch was described in 1991 based on subfossil remains found on the island of O’ahu, Hawaiian Islands.

This species had the biggest and heaviest beak of all seed-eating Hawaiian finches.

***

This species very likely constitutes a distinct genus.

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References:

[1] S. L. Olson; H. F. James: Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part II. Passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-91. 1991
[2] Helen F. James: The osteology and phylogeny of the Hawaiian finch radiation (Fringillidae: Drepanidini), including extinct taxa. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 141: 207-255. 2004

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edited: 04.01.2024

Turnix olivii Robinson

Buff-breasted Buttonquail (Turnix olivii)  

The Buff-breasted Buttonquail was described in 1900; it is, or maybe was, restricted to the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia.

The species reaches a size of 18 to 23 cm, as in all buttonquail species, the females are larger than the males.

The Buff-breasted Buttonquail was allegedly last seen in 2015; however, this sighting is unconfirmed; subsequent species-targeted surveys between 2018 and 2021 including things like camera trapping, call playback etc. did find all of the other Australian buttonquail species yet not this one.

The species’ population may have been affected by predation by introduced mammals, especially by feral cats, but buttonquails are also known to be highly vulnerable to climate changes due to their high climate change sensitivity and low adaptive capacity; thus it is very likely that this species is already extinct.

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Depiction from: ‘Gregory M. Mathews: The Birds of Australia. London, Witherby & Co. 1910-1927’

(public domain) 

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edited: 19.02.2024

Pampusana nui (Steadman)

Large Polynesian Ground Dove (Pampusana nui)

The Large Polynesian Ground Dove, which is known only from subfossil remains, was a widespread species that occurred on several island groups in central Polynesia including the Cook Islands, the Society Islands and the Marquesas.

The species was sympatric on the Cook-, and Society Islands with the smaller Polynesian Ground Dove (Pampusana erythroptera (Gmelin)) and with the Marquesan Ground Dove (Pampusana rubescens (Vieillot)) on the Marquesas Islands, and very likely with additional, yet extinct species.  

The Large Polynesian Ground Dove, sometimes also named Giant Ground Dove in fact was not truly a giant, yet with a probable size of around 36 cm was still larger than all its Polynesian congeners. [1][2]

***

The species was also thought, based on subfossil remains, to have occurred on the Gambier Islands, these remains, however, were later found out to be assignable to another species, the Henderson Island Archaic Pigeon (Bountyphaps obsoleta Worthy & Wragg). [3][4]

***

syn. Alopecoenas nui (Steadman), Gallicolumba nui Steadman

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References:  

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University Of Chicago Press 2006
[2] Jean-Claude Thibault; Alice Cibois: From early Polynesian settlements to present: bird extinctions in the Gambier Islands. Pacific Science 66(3): 1-26. 2011 
[3] Knud A. Jønsson; Martin Irestedt; Rauri C. K. Bowie; Les Christidis; Jon Fieldså: Systematics and biogeography of Indo-Pacific ground-doves. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59: 538-543. 2011
[4] Stanislas Rigal; Patrick V. Kirch; Trevor H. Worthy: New prehistoric avifaunas from the Gambier Group, French Polynesia. Palaeontologia Electronica 21.3.4A 1-35. 2018

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edited: 16.03.2020

Monarcha sp. ‘Ni’ihau’

Niihau Elepaio (Monarcha sp.)

The island of Ni’ihau, which is located very close to Kaua’i in the Hawaiian Islands, was once covered with typical Hawaiian lowland forests, which now are gone completely.

Today, the island harbors a few sea bird breeding colonies, but once it almost for certain also had several land bird species, some of which might very well have been endemic to the island; among these might have been a distinct form of Elepaio, which otherwise is known to inhabit the islands of Hawai’i, O’ahu and Kaua’i with distinct, island-specific species on each island.

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edited: 07.05.2022

Mimus gundlachii ssp. ‘Barbuda’

Barbuda Mockingbird (Mimus gundlachii ssp.)

Today, the Bahama Mockingbird (Mimus gundlachii Cabanis) is restricted to the cays off northern Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, as well as Turks and Caicos, where it inhabits semiarid scrubland. However, the species is known from at least two fossil or subfossil bones found on the island of Barbuda, Antigua and Barbuda, in the Lesser Antilles. [1]

Given the fact that the birds on Jamaica are treated as a distinct subspecies, I personally assume that the birds from the Lesser Antilles most probably also represented a distinct subspecies, which disappeared probably around the Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene border but might in fact have survived for somewhat longer. 

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Bahama Mockingbird (Mimus gundlachii); nominate race

Photo: Laura Gooch
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

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References:

[1] Gregory K. Pregill; David W. Steadman; David R. Watters: Late Quaternary vertebrate faunas of the Lesser Antilles: historical components of Caribbean biogeography. Bulletin of Carnegie Museum of Natural History 30: 1-51. 1994

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edited: 17.02.2020

Chloridops sp. ‘Maui’

Maui Grosbeak (Chloridops sp.)

This form is known from a complete subfossil mandible that was found in the Pu’u Naio Cave on the island of Maui, Hawaiian Islands and which differs from the Wahi Grosbeak (Chloridops wahi James & Olson) in being about 18% smaller.

More material is needed before it is clear whether this form represents some kind of extreme intraspecific variation in the Wahi Grosbeak or a distinct species. [1]

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References:

[1] S. L. Olson; H. F. James: Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part II. Passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-91. 1991

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edited: 08.10.2020

Dryolimnas sp. ‘Cosmoledo’

Cosmoledo is an atoll in the Aldabra group of the outer islands of the Seychelles archipelago; it has a very small area of dry land yet is home to at least four species of land birds, the Souimanga Sunbird (Cinnyris sovimanga ssp. buchenorum Williams), the Malagasy Turtle-Dove (Nesoenas picturatus ssp. coppingeri (Sharpe)), the Malagasy White-eye (Zosterops maderaspatanus ssp. menaiensis (Benson)) and a rail that is only known from a single contemporary report.:

A rail (Dryolimnas abbotti?) still exists on South Island, and a Cinnyris perhaps forms a local race, but land birds were scarce on Cosmoledo, which as a whole seemed too broken into small islands to be suitable for a land fauna.” [1]

The three volant bird species are surviving until today but the rail is now gone.

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References:

[1] J. C. F. Fryer: The structure and formation of Aldabra and neighbouring islands – with notes on their flora and fauna. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. 2nd series. Zoology 14(3): 397-442. 1911

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edited: 03.01.2023

Monarcha nigra ssp. ‘Mo’orea’

Moorea Monarch (Monarcha nigra ssp.)

The Tahiti Monarch (Monarcha nigra (Sparrman)) is the sole surviving of formerly several monarch species that inhabited the Society Islands; as its name implies, it is endemic to Tahiti, the largest of the islands in the archipelago.

The smaller sister of Tahiti, Mo’orea, very likely once also harbored a monarch population, and this might well have been an endemic one.

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edited: 07.05.2022

Hemignathus lanaiensis Rothschild

Maui-nui Akialoa (Hemignathus lanaiensis)

The Maui-nui Akialoa aka. Lanai Akialoa was historically only known from the island of Lana’i, Hawaiian Islands, but did formerly also occur on the neighboring islands of Maui and Moloka’i as its known based on subfossils (found at least on Maui). [2]

The species is known by exactly three specimens, two of which appear to be sub-adult males and the third one a female. [3]

***

There is an interesting account made in 1903 (?) by Robert Cyril Layton Perkins, a British entomologist, naturalist and ornithologist about this species in life.:

Almost equally unfortunate was my experience of H. lanaiensis, of which I saw but a single example. This was evidently an adult male, its plumage appearing quite brightly yellow, and unlike any of the figures in Mr Rothschild’s work. There is no doubt hat his figure of the adult bird, if really taken from an adult, represents the bird in its non-breeding stage, for in January, when I saw the one above mentioned, all the adult birds on Lanai were in the fullest and most perfect plumage. It was extremely tame, at times not five yards distant, hunting for insects along the trunk and large limbs of a partly fallen Ohia, which overhung the edge of a precipitous cliff. As, if killed, it would necessarily have fallen in the brush far below, or have lodged in the shrubbery on the side of the cliff, being without a dog I forbore to shoot, and when after some minutes it flew off, it was seen no more. It is probable that this was realy a survivor of the brood obtained by Mr Rothschild’s collectors, since Wolstenholme, who discovered the bird, informed me that all of their specimens were obtained in the same spot and practically at the same time. Certainly the bird seen by me was quite alone, and this at a time when mature birds were all paired, and it may even be feared that it was the sole living representative of its species.” [1]

The Maui-nui Akialoa was extinct shortly after.

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Depiction from: ‘W. Rothschild: The Avifauna of Laysan and the neighbouring islands with a complete history to date of the birds of the Hawaiian possession. 1893-1900’

(public domain)

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References:

[1] R. C. L. Perkins: Vertebrata. in: Fauna Hawaiiensis 1(4): 365-466. 1899-1913
[2] S. L. Olson; H. F. James: Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part II. Passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-91. 1991
[3] H. D. Pratt: The Hawaiian Honeycreepers: Drepanidinae. Oxford Univ. Pr. 2005

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edited: 09.10.2020

Anas marecula Olson & Jouventin

Amsterdam Island Duck (Anas marecula)

The Amsterdam Island Duck, aka. Amsterdam Wigeon was described in 1996 based on subfossil bones that were found on the Île Amsterdam in the subantarctic part of the Indian Ocean.

This duck species was rather small and apparently completely flightless.

There is also a contemporaneous account that mentions this duck species and that is often falsely assigned to a population of ducks on another island, the Île Saint-Paul, which lies about 80 km away from Île Amsterdam. :

Anas, A small brown Duck, not much larger than a thrush, and apparently not described by naturalists.” [1]

If this account is read carefully, however, it is very clear that it is speaking about the ducks found on Amsterdam Island.

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References:

[1] John Barrow: A voyage to Cochinchina, in the years 1792 and 1793. To which is annexed an account of a journey made in the years 1801 and 1802, to the residence of the chief of the Booshuana nation. London: printed for T. Cadell and W. Davies 1806
[2] Storrs L. Olson; Pierre Jouventin: A new species of small flightless duck from Amsterdam Island, southern Indian Ocean (Anatidae: Anas). The Condor 98(1): 1-9. 1996

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edited: 10.11.2021

Cinclocerthia sp. ‘Barbados’

Barbados Trempler (Cinclocerthia sp.)

The next is a bird like a Thrush, of a melancholly look, her feathers never smooth, but alwayes ruffled, as if she were mewing, her head down, her shoulders up, as if her neck were broke. This bird has for three or four notes, the loudest and sweetest, that ever I heard; if she had variety, certainly no bird could go beyond her; she looks alwayes, as if she were sick or melancholly.” [1]

This account by the British author Richard Ligon from 1657 can be assigned with the utmost security to a so-called trempler (Cinclocerthia sp.), maybe a subspecies of the Grey Trempler (Cinclocerthia gutturalis(Lafresnaye)) or of the Brown Trempler (Cinclocerthia ruficauda (Gould)) both of which occur on the neighboring islands; or, given the somewhat isolated location of Barbados, may even have been an endemic species.

Whatever he case, since the island of Barbados has lost nearly all of its natural vegetation, this bird is now extinct. [2]

***

The photo below shows a Northern Brown Trempler (Cinclocerthia ruficauda ssp. tremula (Lafresnaye)) from the island of Guadeloupe.

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Northern Brown Trempler (Cinclocerthia ruficauda ssp. tremula)

Photo: Martingloor
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

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References:

[1] Richard Ligon: A True & Exact History Of the Island of Barbadoes: Illustrated with a map of the Island, as also the Principal Trees and Plants there, set forth in their due Proportions and Shapes, drawn out by their several and respective Scales. Together with the Ingenio that makes the Sugar, with the Plots of the several Houses, Rooms, and other places, that are used in the whole process of Sugar-making; viz. teh Grinding-room, the Boyling-room, the Filling-room, the curing-house, and Furnaces; All cut in Copper. London: printed and are to be sold by Peter Parker, at his Shop at the Leg and Star over against the Royal Exchange, and Thomas Guy at the corner Shop of Little Lumbard-street and Cornhill 1673
[2] P. A. Buckley; Edward B. Massiah; Maurice B. Hutt; Francine G. Buckley; Hazel F. Hutt: The birds of Barbados: An annotated checklist. British Ornithologists’ Union 2009

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edited: 20.09.2019

Eudyptes sp. ‘Cook Strait’

Cook Strait Penguin (Eudyptes sp.)

The Cook Strait Penguin was only recently discovered during a large-scaled study of subfossil penguin bones collected from many parts of New Zealand and kept in several museums.

The species formerly inhabited the coasts of southern North –  and northern South Island and was extirpated by hunting Maori settlers, probably soon after New Zealand was settled by them. [1]

The species has not been described yet, but very likely will soon be.

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References:

[1] T. L. Cole; N. J. Rawlence; N. Dussex; U. Ellenberg; D. M. Houston; T. Mattern; C. M. Miskelly; K. W. Morrison; R. Paul Scofield; A, J, D. Tennyson; D. R. Thompson; J. R. Wood; J. M. Waters: Ancient DNA of crested penguins: Testing for temporal genetic shifts in the world’s most diverse penguin clade. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 1-30. 2018

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edited: 15.01.2019

Turdus lherminieri ssp. ‘Barbuda’

Barbuda Forest Thrush (Turdus lherminieri ssp.)

The Forest Thrush (Turdus lherminieri Lafresnaye) is a beautiful and quite large thrush that prefers humid forests, it is now restricted to four islands in the Lesser Antilles: Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, and Saint Lucia, with each island harboring its own distinct endemic subspecies. 

The species was formerly more widespread and did also occur on Antigua and Barbuda, where it is known from subfossil remains found so far at least on the island of Barbuda. This form certainly constituted another island-endemic subspecies. [1]

The Barbuda Forest Thrush very likely survived well into the Holocene era but disappeared due to the clearing of the forests on its home island.

*********************

References:

[1] Gregory K. Pregill; David W. Steadman; David R. Watters: Late Quaternary vertebrate faunas of the Lesser Antilles: historical components of Caribbean biogeography. Bulletin of Carnegie Museum of Natural History 30: 1-51. 1994

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edited: 17.02.2020

Rallus sp. ‘Fernando de Noronha’

Fernando de Noronha Rail (Rallus sp.)

The Fernando de Noronha Rail is an enigmatic bird known from subfossil remains that had been found in the late 1970s on the island of Fernando de Noronha, 354 km offshore the coast of Brazil.:

Remains of a new species of rail (Rallidae) were also found, bringing the total known land-bird fauna to four species. Most of the elements of the skeleton, from several different individuals, are represented. This was a medium- size rail with the wings reduced, but to a lesser extent than in many flightless species. It does not appear to be particularly close morphologically to any of the species of rails from mainland Brazil. I have briefly alluded to this form elsewhere …, but it has yet to be formally described.

The form may have been a member of the genus Laterallus or Rallus, however, the species has still not been described. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] S. L. Olson: Natural history of vertebrates on the Brazilian islands of the mid South Atlantic. National Geographic Society Research Reports 13: 481-492. 1981

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edited: 03.05.2022

Dendroscansor decurvirostris Millener & Worthy

Long-billed New Zealand Wren (Dendroscansor decurvirostris)

The family Acanthisittidae, endemic to New Zealand, contains of six (or seven) species, the last remnants of a once more diverse group of birds whose final refuge is the isolated islands of New Zealand.

Four (or five) of these species are now extinct.

***
The Long-billed New Zealand Wren is only known from a few subfossil bones found at four sites on New Zealand’s South Island.

The bird was a rather large member of its family and probably flightless, or at least nearly so. It used its beak to search for small invertebrates in the leaf litter or to examine the bark of rotten branches for wood-boring larvae.

An unsuspecting ground-dweller that has never before encountered predatory mammals, the New Zealand Long-billed new Zealand Wren was probably one of the first victims of the raids of the Polynesian Rat (Rattus exulans (Peale)), which was introduced to New Zealand by the Maori in the 13th century .

********************

Depiction: Alexander Lang

*********************

References:

[1] Trevor H. Worthy, Richard N. Holdaway: The Lost World of the Moa, Prehistoric Life of New Zealand. Indiana University Press, Bloomington 2002

********************

edited: 11.02.2024

Erythrura sp. ‘Rota’

Mariana Parrot Finch (Erythrura sp.)

The Mariana Parrot Finch is known only from a subfossil humerus that was recovered from deposits on the island of Rota in the Mariana Islands; this single bone can be referred to that genus based on several characters but is larger than that of any congeneric species.

The species may have reached a length of about 15 cm, making it one of the largest members of its whole family; it was very likely most closely related to the Blue-faced Parrotfinch (Erythrura trichroa (Kittlitz)) (see depiction), a species that still occurs in parts of Micronesia today. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinct and extirpated birds from Rota, Mariana Islands. Micronesia 25(1): 71-84. 1992

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Blue-faced Parrotfinch (Erythrura trichroa)

Depiction from: ‘F. H. von Kittlitz: Über einige noch unbeschriebene Vögel von der Insel Luzon, den Carolinen und den Marianen. Mémoires présentés à l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de St. Petersbourg par divers Savants et lus dans ses Assemblées 2: 1-10. 1835’

(public domain)

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edited: 09.11.2021

Nesoenas rodericanus (Milne-Edwards)

Rodrigues Turtle Dove (Nesoenas rodericanus)

The Rodrigues Turtle Dove was described in 1874, when it was already extinct; it is known from subfossil remains and from contemporaneous accounts.

The species disappeared sometimes between 1726 and 1761.

*********************

References:

[1] Julian P. Hume: Extinct Birds: Bloomsbury Natural History; 2nd edition 2017

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edited: 07.05.2022

Myzomela sp. ‘Nauru’

Nauru Honeyeater (Myzomela sp.)

Die Vogelwelt ist nach Zahl und Art reicher. Der Fregattvogel (Tachypetes aquila), itsi, die schwarze Seeschwalbe (Anous), doror, die weiße Seeschwalbe (Gygis), dagiagia, werden als Haustiere gehalten; der erste galt früher als heiliger Vogel, mit den beiden anderen werden Kampfspiele veranstaltet. Am Strande trifft man den Steinwälzer (Strepsilas interpres), dagiduba, den Regenpfeifer (Numenius), den Uferläufer (Tringoides), ibibito, die Schnepfe, ikirer, den Brachvogel ikiuoi, den Strandreiter iuji, die Ralle, earero bauo und zwei Möwenarten (Sterna), igogora und ederakui. Im Busche beobachtet man an den Blüten der Kokospalme den kleinen Honigsauger raigide, die Rohrdrossel (Calamoherpe syrinx), itirir und den Fliegenschnäpper (Rhipidura), temarubi.” [1]

translation:

The bird world is richer by number and species, The frigate bird (Tachypetes aquila), itsi, the black tern (Anous), doror, the white tern (Gygis), dagiagia, are kept as pets; the first one was formerly considered a holy bird, with the two others are used for fighting games. At the beach one mets with the turnstone (Strepsilas interpres), dagiduba, the plover (Numenius), the sandpiper (Tringoides), ibibito, the snipe, ikirer, the curlew, ikiuoi, the beach rider [?] iuji, the rail, earero bauo and two gull species (Sterna), igogora and ederakui. In the bush one observes on the flowers of the coconut palm the small honeyeater raigide, the reed thrush (Calamoherpe syrinx), itirir and the flycatcher (Rhipidura), temarubi.

The Micronesian Honeyeater (Myzomela rubrata (Lesson)) is split into four subspecies which still are widely distributed over a big part of Micronesia.

The above-mentioned account from the early 20th century shows that this species, or perhaps a closely related form once also inhabited the island of Nauru.

*********************

References:

[1] Paul Hambruch: Nauru. Ergebnisse der Südsee-Expedition 1908-1910. II. Ethnographie: B. Mikronesien, Band 1.1 Halbband. Hamburg, Friedrichsen 1914

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edited: 26.04.2022

Rhipidura cervina Ramsay

Lord Howe Fantail (Rhipidura cervina)

The Lord Howe Fantail, also known as Fawn-breasted Fantail, was endemic to Lord Howe Island; it is sometimes treated as a subspecies of the New Zealand fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa (Sparrman)).

The species was formerly very plentiful and widespread on its island home.

We obtained the really elegant Rhipidura cervina, Ramsay, another species peculiar to Lord Howe. It is a delicate bird, frequenting any open glades where insects can be taken on the wing.” [1]

Nearly all of the endemic or native birds that formerly inhabited Lord Howe Island disappeared shortly after 1918, when the steamship ‘SS Makambo’ ran aground on Ned’s Beach in the northern part of the island and Black Rats (Rattus rattus (L.)) from the wreck came ashore.

The species was apparently last seen in 1924.

***

syn. Rhipidura fuliginosa ssp. cervina Ramsay, Rhipidura macgillivrayi Sharpe

*********************

lower bird

Depiction from: ‘Gregory M. Mathews: The birds of Norfolk & Lord Howe Islands and the Australasian South Polar quadrant: with additions to “birds of Australia”. London: H. F. & G. Witherby 1928’

(public domain)

*********************

References:

[1] Robert Etheridge: The general zoology of Lord Howe Island; containing also an account of the collections made by the Australian Museum Collecting Party, Aug.-Sept., 1887. Australian Museum Memoir 2(1): 1-42. 1889

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edited: 27.02.2024

Upupa antaios Olson

Saint Helena Hoopoe (Upupa antaios)

As its name implies, this species was endemic to the island of Saint Helena in the middle of the vast Atlantic Ocean.

The Saint Helena Hoopoe was larger than the remaining two or three hoopoe species, it had somewhat reduced wings but certainly was not flightless as is often stated. [1]

***

It is quite intriguing that none of the old contemporaneous accounts, given by the early settlers on Saint Helena, mentions this – or any of the other extinct bird species that we know only from subfossil bones.

*********************

References:

[1] Storrs L. Olson: Paleornithology of St. Helena Island, south Atlantic Ocean, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 23. 1975

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edited: 30.05.2021

Myiagra sp. ”Eua’

Tongan Monarch (Myiagra sp.)

The Tongan Monarch is known from subfossil bones excavated on the island of ‘Eua. 

The species is most closely related to the jeweled (Myiagra azureocapilla Layard) and the red-bellied monarch (Myiagra vanikorensis (Quoy & Gaimard)) of the Fiji Islands and the Samoan monarch (Myiagra albiventris(Peale)) (see illustration). 

The islands of the Tongan archipelago most likely harbored several subspecies, each inhabiting neighboring island groups. 

The Tongan Monarch disappeared, along with numerous other native bird species, due to the devastating destruction of natural vegetation on Tonga’s heavily populated islands. 

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Samoan Monarch (Myiagra albiventris

Depiction from: ‘O. Finsch; G. Hartlaub: Contribution to the fauna of Central Polynesia. Ornithology of the Viti, Samoa and Tonga Islands. Halle, H. W. Schmidt 1867’ 

(public domain)

******************** 

References: 

[1] D. W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006 

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edited: 04.12.2012

Rhodacanthis forfex James & Olson

Scissor-billed Koa-Finch (Rhodacanthis forfex)

The Scissor-billed Koa Finch is known only by subfossil remains, found on the islands of Kaua’i and Maui, the species clearly also occurred on the islands in between.

The species disappeared shortly after the arrival of the first human settlers on the Hawaiian Islands.

*********************

References:

[1] Helen F. James; Storrs L. Olson: The diversity and biogeography of koa-finches (Drepanidini: Rhodacanthis), with descriptions of two new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 144: 527-541. 2005

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edited: 07.10.2020

Rallus sp. ‘Terceira’

Terceira Rail (Rallus sp.)

This form is known from not less than 13 associated skeletons which were recovered from cave deposits on the island of Terceira, one of the Azores Islands, Portugal, most of which, however, with fragmentary bones only.

The Terceira Rail was a member of the genus Rallus but has not yet being described. [1]

***

There is a very exceptional specimen that can be assigned to this species that was found in Algar do Carvão, a chimney of a former volcano in the center of Terceina. This specimen is of an individual that was mummified by natural processes and is now preserved as a three-dimensional body still bearing soft body parts, skin and feathers “wrapped” in a silicified crust. [1]

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References:

[1] Josep Antoni Alcover; Harald Pieper; Fernando Pereira; Juan Carlos Rando: Five new extinct species of rails (Aves: Gruiformes: Rallidae) from the Macaronesian Islands (North Atlantic Ocean). Zootaxa 4057(2): 151-190. 2015

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edited: 10.09.2019

Nesoenas picturata ssp. aldabrana (Sclater)

Amirante Islands Turtle Dove (Nesoenas picturata ssp. aldabrana)

The Amirante Islands are a group of small coral islands in the so-called outher Seychelles southwest of the Seychelles main islands.

These islands were once inhabted by an endemic subspecies of the Madagascar Turtle Dove (Nesoenas picturata (Temminck)), which actually might even warrant species status.

The Amirante Islands Turtle Dove was apparently extirpated by direct hunting, because the birds were seen as a pest; the last individuals were seen in the 1950s.

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Depiction from: ‘P. L. Sclater: Description of a new species of dove from the coralreef of Alabra. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1871: 692-693′

(public domain)

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edited: 07.05.2022

Ducula sp. ‘Erromango’

Erromango Imperial Pigeon (Ducula sp.)

This taxon is known from subfossil remains that were found on the island of Erromango, Vanuatu and apparently cannot be assigned to any of the congeneric forms found on that island today and may thus in fact constitute an extinct species.

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References:  

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006

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edited: 29.01.2024

Cyanoramphus sp. ‚Rapa‘

Rapa Parakeet (Cyanoramphus sp.)


This species is known from subfossil remains that were found during excavations on the island of Rapa, Austral Islands.

These remains somewhat fill the giant gap in the distribution area of the genus, which is found on the one hand with many species in the western Pacific region (New Caledonia and New Zealand faunal regions) and on the other hand with two species on the Society Islands in central Polynesia.

There are hundreds of suitable island groups and islands between these two areas where not a single member of the genus was ever found. [1]

***

The Rapa Parakeet very likely was a ground-dwelling species, like most members of its genus, and was also very likely very tame and thus was probably among the first birds to be eradicated by the first human occupants of the island. [1]

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References:

[1] J. D. Tennyson; Atholl Anderson: Bird, reptile and mammal remains from archaeological sites on Rapa Island. In: Atholl Anderson; Douglas J. Kennett: Taking the High Ground; The archaeology of Rapa, a fortified island in remote East Polynesia. In: Terra Australis 37. 105-114. Canberra, ANU E Press 2012

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edited: 08.02.2020

Anas gracilis ssp. ‘New Caledonia’

New Caledonian Grey Teal (Anas gracilis ssp.)

This form is known only from subfossil remains that had been found on the island of Grande Terre, New Caledonia.

This was probably an endemic form of the Grey Teal (Anas gracilis Buller), a species that is otherwise known from Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand, however, this species is sometimes found on New Caledonia as a vagrant, thus it is also possible that the subfossil remains descent from such vagrant birds. [1]

The form is mentioned here for the sake of completeness.

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References:

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006

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edited: 10.11.2021

Acrocephalus sp. ‘Raivavae’

Raivavae Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus sp.)

No Reed Warbler species are known to inhabit the Austral Islands today, yet their former existence in that archipelago is more than likely, given the fact that such species are found on the Cook Islands to the north and on the Tuamotu archipelago to the east.

And, there is indeed at least one record of a reed warbler that was heard singing on one of the Austral Islands – Raivavae.:

A. v. sous-espèce ? 

Raevavae: des fauvettes furent entendues par Lacan (J.-L. Mougin, comm. pers.) en mai 1968.
” [1]

translation:

A. v. subspecies? 

Raevavae: warblers were heard by Lacan (J.-L. Mougin, pers. Comm.) in May 1968.

and:

Une espèce non identifiée d’Acrocephalus a été notée à Raivavae en 1968 mais n’a pas été retrouvé en 1990 (Seitre et Seitre 1991) et pouvait donc être un oiseau erratique.” [1]

translation:

An unidentified species of Acrocephalus was recorded at Raivavae in 1968 but was not found in 1990 (Seitre and Seitre 1991) and could therefore be an erratic bird.

This one, brief record may in fact refer to a last remaining tiny population of an endemic reed warbler population that went extinct so after. 

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References:

[1] D. T. Holyoack; J.-C. Thibault: Contribution à l’étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Mémoire du MNHN, Série A Zoologie 27: 121-122. 1984

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edited: 03.01.2024

Rhodacanthis palmeri Rothschild

Greater Koa-Finch (Rhodacanthis palmeri)

The Greater Koa Finch, named hopue by the native Hawaiians, was already nearly extinct when it was discovered by European ornithologists.

The species originally inhabited dry lowland forests that were dominated by the endemic koa acacias (Acacia koa A. Gray) whose seed pods and seeds apparently were its main food source, it furthermore fed on the seeds of the native ‘a’ali’i (Dodonaea viscosa Jacq.) and caterpillars. Most of the lowland forests had already been destroyed by the Hawaiian natives long before the first European settlers arrived, and the finches were restricted to the small remains in the northern Kona District in the western part of Hawai’i.

***

When alive, Greater Koa Finch was by far the largest of the Hawaiian endemic drepanidine finches; it reached a size of 23 cm; the males had bright scarlet-orange heads and breasts, while the females were more or less completely plain green colored.

***

syn. Loxioides kona Greenway, Psittiacirostra palmeri (Rothschild), Psittirostra palmeri (Rothschild), Telespiza palmeri (Rothschild)

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References:

[1] H. Douglas Pratt: The Hawaiian Honeycreepers: Drepanidinae. Oxford Univ. Pr. 2005

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Depiction from: ‘W. Rothschild: The Avifauna of Laysan and the neighbouring islands with a complete history to date of the birds of the Hawaiian possession. 1893-1900’      

(public domain)

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edited: 07.10.2020

Anatidae gen. & sp. ‘Mariana Islands’

Rota Duck (Anatidae gen. & sp.)

The Rota Duck is known so far only from subfossil bones that were recovered from deposits on the island of Rota in the Mariana Islands.

The species was small and probably flightless, not much else is known about it so far. [1]

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References:

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinct and extirpated birds from Rota, Mariana Islands. Micronesia 25(1): 71-84. 1992

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edited: 10.11.2021

Icterus leucopteryx ssp. bairdi Cory

Grand Cayman Oriole (Icterus leucopteryx ssp. bairdi)

This bird, as its name implies, was restricted to the island of Grand Cayman while the nominate race is endemic to Jamaica.

The bird is mainly golden yellow colored with a greenish hue; its face and throat are black; the wings are largely white and black and the tail is black as well; the beak and the feet are grey.

The last birds were collected in 1911 by Wilmot W. Brown (at a time when the Governor of the island specifically forbade him to hunt any birds peculiar to the island, by the way), and the collector wrote the following statement.: 

Collection contains 17 specimens of the very rare Icteurs bairdi – the rarest bird I ever hunted!” [1]

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nominate form

Photo: Frode Jacobsen
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/frodejacobsen
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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References: 

[1] Kevin B. Clark: Wilmot W. Brown: one of the most prolific collectors of the vertebrate fauna of the New World. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College 126(6): 347-378. 2020

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edited: 05.01.2024

Otus sp. ‘Porto Santo’

Porto Santo Scops Owl (Otus sp.)

The Porto Santo Scops Owl is known from fragmentary subfossil remains, found on the island of Porto Santo northeast of Madeira.

This form might have been identical with the Madeiran Scops Owl (Otus mauli Rando, Pieper, Alcover & Olson), but it is quite possible that it was at least distinct at subspecific level.

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References:

[1] Juan Carlos Rando; Harald Pieper; Josep Antoni Alcover; & Storrs L. Olson: A new species of extinct fossil scops owl (Aves: Strigiformes: Strigidae: Otus) from the Archipelago of Madeira (North Atlantic Ocean). Zootaxa. 3182: 29-42. 2012

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edited: 02.05.2022

Turdus lherminieri ssp. ‘Martinique’

Martinique Forest Thrush (Turdus lherminieri ssp.)

The Forest Thrush (Turdus lherminieri (Lafresnaye)) inhabits, respectively inhabited some of the islands of the Lesser Antilles, where it is known from Dominica, Guadeloupe, and Montserrat as well as from Saint Lucia. 

The species is, however, not known from Martinique, which is located between Dominica and Saint Lucia, but almost for sure did once occur there as well and probably did so with an endemic subspecies; yet currently there is no proof so far for that assumption, thus I will only briefly mention this assumption here.

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edited: 02.05.2022

Ardea bennuides Hoch

Bennu Heron (Ardea bennuides)

The ‘Benu’ or ‘Bennu’ is a mythological bird of ancient Egypt, of which there are numerous, very detailed depictions on temple walls, etc., which now and then differ in their colors, but which almost always represent a superhuman-sized heron with very long occipital feathers. 

In ancient Egypt it was believed that the Benu only came to Egypt to nest every 500 years. 

The mythological figure may be based on an actually existing species …. 

***

The Bennu Heron was the largest known heron in the world, reaching a height of approximately 1.8 m. 

The species was described from a single fragment of a tibiotarsus found in the deposits left behind by the so-called ‘Umm Al Nar’ Culture (2000-2700 B.C.E.) in what is now the United Arab Emirates. At that time, conditions in the region were wetter than today, for example there were extensive mangrove swamps, home to various marsh and water birds, including the giant Bennu Heron. 

The species disappeared around 2500 B.C.E. as a result of climate changes that led to the region drying out and thus the destruction of the Bennu Heron’s habitat.

********************* 

Benu or Bennu 

Depiction from: ‘G. Ebers: Egypt: Descriptive, Historical, and Picturesque. Cassell & Company 1878’ 

(public domain)

********************* 

References: 

[1] E. Hoch: Reflections on Prehistoric Life at Umm an-Nar (Trucial Oman) Based on Faunal Remains from the Third Millennium B.C.. In: South Asian Archaeology. 589–638. 1979 

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edited: 31.05.2012

Columbidae gen. & sp. ‘Buka 2’

Kilu Ground Pigeon (Columbidae gen. & sp.)

This up to now undescribed species is known exclusively from subfossil remains that were recovered from Holocene deposits in the Kilu Cave on the island of Buka in the northernmost part of the Solomon Islands group.

*********************  

References:  

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006

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edited: 19.08.2022

Haemorhous mexicanus ssp. mcgregori (Anthony)

McGregor’s House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus ssp. mcgregori)

Described in 1897, this subspecies was restricted to the Isla de Cedros and the Islas San Benito in Baja California, Mexico.

The finches were originally described as having been very abundant and having been found all over the islands they inhabited; however, at the beginning of the 20th century, the populations begun to crash – almost certainly due to predation by introduced feral cats. The last sighting took place in 1938, then the birds were finally extinct.

***

The photo below shows an individual of another endangered island subspecies, the Guadaloupe House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus ssp. amplus) from the Isla Guadaloupe, Baja California, Mexico.

***

syn. Carpodacus mcgregori Anthony, Carpodacus mexicanus ssp. mcgregori (Anthony)

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Guadaloupe House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus ssp. amplus)

Photo: gborn
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/gborn
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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edited: 26.08.2022

Rallus montivagorum Alcover, Pieper, Pereira & Rando

Pico Rail (Rallus montivagorum)

The Pico Rail was described in 2015, it is known from subfossil material that had been collected in 2013 at a place named Furna das Torres on the island of Pico, Azores, Portugal.

The species derived from the European mainland Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus L.) and differed from that species by its slighly smaller size and a reduced sternum which indicates that it probably was completely flightless.

Some of the remains could be dated to an age of about 1405 to 1450, that is around the same time when Portugese begun to colonize the Azores. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Josep Antoni Alcover; Harald Pieper; Fernando Pereira; Juan Carlos Rando: Five new extinct species of rails (Aves: Gruiformes: Rallidae) from the Macaronesian Islands (North Atlantic Ocean). Zootaxa 4057(2): 151-190. 2015

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edited: 10.09.2019

Vorombe titan (Andrews)

Giant Elephant Bird (Vorombe titan)

The Giant Elephant Bird was originally described in 1894, however, the whole elephant bird family was in urgent need of a proper revision, which indeed took place in 2018 and which lead to a reduction of the number of species and the description of a completely new genus for the largest of the species. [1]

The species must have reached a size of 3 m and must have weighted up to 730 kg, making it the heaviest known bird, dead or alive.

The Giant Elephant Bird died out shortly after the arrival of humans on the island of Madagascar, most likely due to habitat destruction and overhunting.

*********************

References:

[1] James P. Hansford; Samuel T. Turvey: Unexpected diversity within the extinct elephant birds (Aves: Aepyornithidae) and a new identity for the world’s largest bird. Royal Society Open Science 5(9): 1-28. 2018

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edited: 22.01.2022

Gallirallus sp. ‘Nauru’

Nauru Rail (Gallirallus sp.)

Es gibt auch Vögel auf Nauru, wie Fregattvogel, schwarze Seeschwalbe, weiße Seeschwalbe, Regenpfeifer, Brachvogel, Möve, Schnepfe, Uferläufer, Ralle, Lachmöve und Rohrdrossel.

translation:

There are also birds on Nauru, as frigate bird, black tern, white tern, plover, curlew, gull, snipe, sandpiper, rail, black-headed gull and reed thrush.

and …

Die Vogelwelt ist nach Zahl und Art reicher. Der Fregattvogel (Tachypetes aquila), itsi, die schwarze Seeschwalbe (Anous), doror, die weiße Seeschwalbe (Gygis), dagiagia, werden als Haustiere gehalten; der erste galt früher als heiliger Vogel, mit den beiden anderen werden Kampfspiele veranstaltet. Am Strande trifft man den Steinwälzer (Strepsilas interpres), dagiduba, den Regenpfeifer (Numenius), den Uferläufer (Tringoides), ibibito, die Schnepfe, ikirer, den Brachvogel ikiuoi, den Strandreiter iuji, die Ralle, earero bauo und zwei Möwenarten (Sterna), igogora und ederakui. Im Busche beobachtet man an den Blüten der Kokospalme den kleinen Honigsauger raigide, die Rohrdrossel (Calamoherpe syrinx), itirir und den Fliegenschnäpper (Rhipidura), temarubi.” [1]  

translation:  

The bird world is richer by number and species, The frigate bird (Tachypetes aquila), itsi, the black tern (Anous), doror, the white tern (Gygis), dagiagia, are kept as pets; the first one was formerly considered a holy bird, with the two others are used for fighting games. At the beach one mets with the turnstone (Strepsilas interpres), dagiduba, the plover (Numenius), the sandpiper (Tringoides), ibibito, the snipe, ikirer, the curlew, ikiuoi, the beach rider [?] iuji, the rail, earero bauo and two gull species (Sterna), igogora and ederakui. In the bush one observes on the flowers of the coconut palm the small honeyeater raigide, the reed thrush (Calamoherpe syrinx), itirir and the flycatcher (Rhipidura), temarubi.

These two accounts, made in the early 20th century both mention a form of rail that inhabited the island of Nauru; for biogeographical reasons, this almost certainly was a flightless endemic species, which is now extinct without leaving behind any traces. 

*********************

References:

[1] Paul Hambruch: Nauru. Ergebnisse der Südsee-Expedition 1908-1910. II. Ethnographie: B. Mikronesien, Band 1.1 Halbband. Hamburg, Friedrichsen 1914

*********************

edited: 04.01.2024

Brachypteracias langrandi Goodman

Ampoza Ground Roller (Brachypteracias langrandi)

The Ampoza Ground Roller was described in 2000 on the basis of a single subfossil humerus that had already been discovered in 1929 at Ampoza in central south-western Madagascar.

The locality lies within the dry deciduous forest region and is obviously not inhabited by any species of the Brachypteraciidae family, which, except for one species, prefer humid forests and rainforests.

The species disappeared sometimes after the coloniuation by human settlers due to human-induced climate changes that led to the desertification of many of Madagascar’s regions.

***

The depiction below shows the sole still living member of the genus, the Short-legged Ground Roller (Brachypteracias leptosomus (Lesson)).

*********************

Short-legged Ground Roller (Brachypteracias leptosomus)

Depiction from: ‘Alfred Grandidier: Histoire Physique, Naturelle et Politique de Madagascar. Paris: à l’Imprimerie Nationale 1836-1921’

(public domain)

*********************

References:

[1] Steven M. Goodman: A description of a new species of Brachypteracias (Family Brachypteraciidae) from the Holocene of Madagascar. Ostrich. 71(1-2): 318-322. 2000

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edited: 28.02.2024

Amazona vittata ssp. ‘Antigua’

Antigua Amazon (Amazona vittata ssp.)

This form is known from at least two subfossil bones recovered from archaeological sites on the island of Antigua, which were identified as being identical to the Puerto Rican Amazon (Amazona vittata (Boddaert)).

It is of course possible that the species was brought to the island by early human settlers, which apparently have always hunted parrots for food but have also kept them as pets and transported them from one place to another. The neighboring island of Barbuda, however, is known to once have harbored a native population of this species or maybe a very closely related one, so it is likely that the same form, or rather a subspecies of it inhabited Antigua as well. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Charles A. Woods; Florence E. Sergile: Biogeography of the West Indies: Patterns and Perspectives, Second Edition. CRC Press; Auflage: Subsequent 2001

*********************

edited: 13.02.2020

Megapodius pritchardii ssp. ‘Samoa’

Samoan Megapode (Megapodius pritchardii ssp.)

This taxon is known exclusively on the basis of subfossil bones, found on the small island of Ofu, part of ‘American’ Samoa.

The remains were tentatively identified as possibly belonging to the Tongan Megapode (Megapodius cf. pritchardii), if so, they may have been a local subspecies. [2]

***

This form may be the bird that was described (as Megapodius stairi Gray) based on a single egg found on the island of Savai’i.:

Nach Bennett (Proc. 1862. p. 247) erhielt Dawson auch die lebenden Vögel auf Sava- oder Russel-Island, die indess leider auf der Ueberfahrt nach Sydney starben. Die Eingeborenen kennen diese Hühner sehr gut und sammeln die Eier fleissig, mit welchen sie Handel treiben. Ein Weibchen legt täglich 2-4 Eier.” 

translation:

According to Bennett (Proc. 1862. p. 247) Dawson obtained also the life birds on Sava- or Russel Island [Savai’i], which, however, unfortunately died during the crossing to Sydney. The natives know these chickens very well and diligently collect the eggs, with which they trade. A female lays 2-4 eggs on the daily [I personally doubt that number!].” [1]

*********************

References:

[1] O. Finsch; G. Hartlaub: Beitrag zur Fauna Centralpolynesiens. Ornthologie der Viti-, Samoa- und Tonga-Inseln. Halle, H. W. Schmidt 1867
[2] David W. Steadman: Extinction and biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006

*********************

Todiramphus sp. ‚Rapa‘

Rapa Kingfisher (Todiramphus sp.)

The Rapa Kingfisher is yet a hypothetical species that I like to erect based on an account from the 1920s. [1]

This account speaks about the color symbolism of Rapan feather cloaks and says that royal cloaks incorporated dark blue feathers from a bird named “kotokoto”, which was supposed to have been a kingfisher, apparently most likely the Tuamotu Kingfisher (Todiramphus gertrudae Murphy) [but named Halcyon gambieri in the paper [1]].

I personally think that this is rather unlikely, if the feathers came from any kind of imported kingfisher species, as the paper [1] suggests, then probably not from birds from Mangareva (which were already almost extinct at that time) but even more unlikely from birds from the Niau atoll, which is located far, far away from the island of Rapa. They may, however, have come from the far more closely situated Cook Islands, which harbors more than one endemic kingfisher forms. But there may very well once have been an endemic kingfisher species on the island of Rapa as well, because why not?!

*********************

References:

[1] J. D. Tennyson; Atholl Anderson: Bird, reptile and mammal remains from archaeological sites on Rapa Island. In: Atholl Anderson; Douglas J. Kennett: Taking the High Ground; The archaeology of Rapa, a fortified island in remote East Polynesia. In: Terra Australis 37. 105-114. Canberra, ANU E Press 2012

*********************

edited: 08.02.2020

Tachornis uranoceles Olson

Puerto Rico Palm Swift (Tachornis uranoceles)

The Puerto Rico Palm Swift was described in 1982, it is known only from fossil remains that were recovered from Blackbone Cave on the island of Puerto Rico and that were dated to a Late Pleistocene age.

The species very likely had similar habits as the three still existing congeneric species, it inhabited palm grooves in open savannas, a habitat that mostly disappeared at the end of the Pleistocene, leading to the extinction of this and several other species. [1]

The Puerto Rico Palm Swift may, however, have survived into the early Holocene.

***

Today, another congeneric species is occurring in the Caribbean including Puert Rico, the Antillean Palm Swift (Tachornis phoenicobia Gosse) (see photo below).

*********************

References:

[1] Storrs L. Olson: A new species of palm swift (Tachornis: Apodidae) from the Pleistocene of Puerto Rico. The Auk 99(2): 230-235. 1982

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Antillean Palm Swift (Tachornis phoenicobia Gosse)

Photo: ZankaM
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0

*********************

edited: 05.11.2020

Neochen pugil (Winge)

Minas Gerais Goose (Neochen pugil)

This species was described in 1888 based on fossil bones that were found in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The remains were dated to Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene; thus, the species is briefly mentioned here. [1]

***

syn. Chenalopex pugil Winge

*********************

References:

[1] O. Winge: Fugle fra Knoglehuler i Brasilien. E Museo Lundii 1(2): 1-54. 1888

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edited: 08.01.2024

Corvus sp. ‘Bermudas’

Bermudas Islands Crow (Corvus sp.)

Birds.         

Neither hath the aire for her part been wanting with due supplies of many sorts of Fowles, as the gray and white Hearne, the gray and greene Plover, some wilde Ducks and Malards, Coots and Red-shankes, Sea-wigions, Gray-bitterns, Cormorants, numbers of small Birds like Sparrowes and Robins, which have lately beene destroyed by the wilde Cats, Wood-pickars, very many Crowes, which since this Plantation are kild, the rest fled or seldome seene except in the most uninhabited places, from whence they are observed to take their flight about sun set, directing their course towards the North-west, which makes many coniecture there are some more Ilands not far off that way.
” [1]

This is a part of an account from 1623 that reports some of the bird life inhabiting the Bermudas Islands at that time.

Given the remote location of the islands, the crows mentioned here very likely were of an endemic form, may it have been a species or a subspecies; the text even tells us how these crow population went extinct, they were killed by the British settlers because they were considered a pest for their crops.

*********************  

References:

[1] John Smith: The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: with the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from their first beginning, An: 1584. to this present 1624. With the Procedings of Those Severall Colonies and the Accidents that befell them in all their Journyes and Discoveries. Also the Maps and Descriptions of all those Countryes, their Commodities, people, Government, Customes, and Religion yet knowne. Divided into Sixe Bookes. By Captaine Iohn Smith, sometymes Governour in those Countryes & Admirall of New England. London: printed by I. D. and I. H. for Michael Sparkes 1624

*********************

edited: 05.11.2020

Ceyx pusillus ssp. aolae Ogilvie-Grant

Guadalcanal Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusillus ssp. aolae)

The Guadalcanal Little Kingfisher is one of the nine subspecies of the Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusillaTemminck), a species that occurs from Australia to parts of melanesia; it is known only from the type specimen that was collected on the island of Guadalcanal, eastern Solomon Islands.

The single known specimen is very similar to Richard’s Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusillus ssp. richardsi Tristram) (see depiction) from the central Solomon Islands, it differs from that subspecies by its incomplete pectoral band and by its white, blue-tipped undertail coverts. [1]

The Guadalcanal Little Kingfisher is often thought to be extinct, this, however, is not entirely certain.

*********************

References:

[1] C. Hilary Fry; Kathie Fry: Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, & Rollers. Helm 1992

*********************

Richard’s Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusillus ssp. richardsi Tristram)

Depiction from: ‘H. B. Tristram: Notes on a collection of birds from the Solomon Islands, with descriptions of new species. The Ibis 133-146. 1882’

(not in copyright)

*********************

edited: 01.11.2020

Crax sp. ‘Mituporanga’

Mituporanga (Crax sp.)

The Mituporanga is known only from a very old painting (see below), drawn by Eckhout Hoflössnitz sometimes between 1653 and 1659, which in fact might just depict a Bare-faced Curassow (Crax fasciolata Spix) or indeed a completely distinct species that is now lost. This painting is included in a book that depicts some birds from the former Dutch colony of Dutch Brazil, an area that today is covered mainly by the federative units of Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte and Sergipe. [1]

Ornithologists have not recorded a species of Crax in the Northern Mata Atlântica. Thus, the plate and other paintings from the same time, and oral testimonies from old hunters are unambiguous evidence for either the historic disappearance of a disjunct population of the similar-looking bare- faced curassow (Crax fasciolata) or an undescribed species.” [2]

********************

References:

[1] Dante Martins Teixeira: Os quadros de aves tropicais do Castelo de Hoflössnitz na Saxônia e Albert Eckhout (ca. 1610–1666), artista do Brasil Holandês. Revista do Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros 49: 67-90. 2009
[2] Alexander C. Lees; Stuart L. Pimm: Species, extinct before we knew them? Current Biology 25(5): 177-180. 2015

********************

Depiction by Eckhout Hoflössnitz, between 1653 and 1659

(public domain)

********************

edited: 25.04.2021

Hemignathus affinis ssp. ‘Moloka’i’

Molokai Nukupuu (Hemignathus affinis ssp.)

The Maui Nukupuu (Hemignathus affinis Rothschild) was historically known only from the island of Maui, yet, this species or at least a very closely related one also once inhabited the neighboring island of Moloka’i – and very likely also Lana’i.:

A fossil almost certainly of this species [Hemignathus lucidus Lichtenstein] was also recovered from sand dune deposits on Molokai.” [1]

***

Given the fact that the Amakihi (Hemignathus virens (Gmelin)) is known to have inhabited the island of Hawai’i (with the nominate form) as well as the islands of Lana’i, Maui, and Moloka’i (with another subspecies), it is quite certain that the Molokai Nukupuu was identical with the Maui species, perhaps even on subspecific level.

***

All species formerly known as Nukupuu are now extinct.

*********************

References:

[1] Storrs Olson & Helen F. James: Nomenclature of the Hawaiian Akialoas and Nukupuus (Aves: Drepanidini). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 108(3): 373-387. 1995

*********************

edited: 09.10.2020

Pampusana sp. ‘Efate’

Efate Ground Dove (Pampusana sp.)

This form is known on the basis of subfossil remains that indicate a bird of similar size to the Friendly Ground Dove (Pampusana stairi (Gray)), a species that inhabits the islnds of western Polynesia.

The Efate Ground Dove was sympatric with the still existing smaller Santa Cruz Ground Dove (Pampusana sanctaecrucis (Mayr)). [1]

*********************  

References:  

[1] Trevor H. Worthy; Start Hawkins; Stuart Bedford; Matthew Spriggs: Avifauna from the Teouma Lapita site, Efate Island, Vanuatu, including a new genus and species of megapode. Pacific Science 69(2): 205-254. 2015

Otus frutuosoi Rando, Alcover, Olson & Pieper

Sao Miguel Scops Owl (Otus frutuosoi)

The Sao Miguel Scops Owl was described in 2013 based on subfossil remains that had been recovered from Quatrnary deposits on the island of São Miguel in the Azores.

The species had relatively longer legs and shorter wings than the Eurasian Scops Owl (Otus scops (L.)); it was generally a ground-dwelling bird that apparently was on the way of becoming flightless. [1]

***

It is very likely that additional species of scops owls inhabited the others of the Azores Islands.

*********************

References:

[1] Juan Carlos Rando; Josep Antoni Alcover; Storrs L. Olson; & Harald Pieper: A new species of extinct scops owl (Aves: Strigiformes: Strigidae: Otus) from São Miguel Island (Azores Archipelago), North Atlantic Ocean. Zootaxa. 3647 (2): 343–357. 2013

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edited: 02.05.2022

Caracara seymouri Suárez & Olson

Seymour’s Caracara (Caracara seymouri)  

This species was described in 2014 based on fossil remains that were recovered from the Talara Tar Seeps in northwestern Peru. These remains have been dated to Late Pleistocene/Earliest Holocene in age.

The species is also known from Late Pleistocene remains found in Ecuador. [1]

*********************

References:  

[1] William Suárez; Storrs L. Olson: A new fossil species of small crested caracara (Aves: Falconidae: Caracara) from the Pacific lowlands of western South America. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 127(2) :299–310. 2014

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edited: 21.09.2020

Rhodacanthis flaviceps Rothschild

Lesser Koa-Finch (Rhodacanthis flaviceps)

The Lesser Koa Finch was already almost extinct when it was discovered by European ornithologists in 1892; it was only found only once, in its type locality, a place called Pu’u Lehua in the lowlands of the northern Kona District almost in the middle of the western coast of Hawai’i.

It was found in mixed flocks with Greater Koa-Finches (Rhodacanthis palmeri Rothschild) feeding on the seeds of koa acacias (Acacia koa A. Gray), eight specimens were taken back than by bird collectors, which did not recognize that they were dealing with two distinct species at that time. [1]

***

The species reached a size of about 19 cm; males had bright yellow heads and bellies, while females were nearly completely green colored. [1]

***

The Lesser Koa-Finch was never found again since, so was probably extinct already shortly after. [1]

***

syn. Loxioides flaviceps (Rothschild), Psittiacirostra flaviceps (Rothschild), Psittirostra flaviceps (Rothschild), Telespiza flaviceps (Rothschild)

*********************

Depiction from: ‘W. Rothschild: The Avifauna of Laysan and the neighbouring islands with a complete history to date of the birds of the Hawaiian possession. 1893-1900’ 

(public domain)

*********************

References:

[1] H. Douglas Pratt: The Hawaiian Honeycreepers: Drepanidinae. Oxford Univ. Pr. 2005

*********************

edited: 07.10.2020

Acrocephalus musae ssp. musae (J. R. Forster)

Raiatea Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus musae ssp. musae)

The Raiatea Reed Warbler was first collected in 1773 during James Cook’s second expedition into the South Sea, it was described in 1844.

The bird was depicted by Georg Forster (see below).

The species was collected again in the 1870s but apparently disappeared sometimes later because it was not found by the famous WSSE (Whitney South Sea Expedition) in 1922. Today only a single specimen remains in the collection of the ‘Übersee-Museum’ in Bremen, Germany

*********************

References:

[1] Alice Cibois; Jean-Claude Thibault; Eric Pasquet: Systematics of the extinct reed warblers Acrocephalus of the Society Islands of eastern Polynesia. Ibis 150: 365–376. 2008

*********************

Depiction: Georg Forster; between 1772 and 1775

(public domain)

*********************

edited: 21.01.2019

Chlorostilbon elegans (Gould)

Gould’s Emerald (Chlorostilbon elegans)

Gould’s Emerald, also known as the Caribbean Emerald, was described in 1860 based on a single specimen of unknown origin; however, it is somehow believed to have originated from the northern Bahamas or from Jamaica.

Thes species was thought to be a hybrid until 1999, when its status as a distinct species could be proven. [1]

Since no additional individual could ever be traced, Gould’s Emerald is clearly extinct now.

*********************

References:

[1] André-Alexander Weller: On types of trochilids in The Natural History Museum, Tring II. Re-evaluation of Erythronota (?) elegans Gould 1860: a presumed extinct species in the genus Chlorostilbon. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 119(3): 197–202. 1999

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Depiction from: ‘John Gould: A monograph of the Trochilidae, or family of humming-birds. London: printed by Taylor and Francis 1849-1861’

(public domain)

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edited: 30.10.2020

Fringillidae gen. & sp. ‘Kaua’i’

Additional Kauai Finch (Fringillidae gen. & sp.)

This is a form of drepanidine finch that is still only insufficiently known, its very fragmenary remains were recovered from the deposits of the the Makawehi Dunes on the island of Kaua’i, Hawaiian Islands.

These remains consist only of the caudal part of a mandibular ramus, differing from all other Hawaiian finch species, alive or extinct.

The form is currently known only as ‘Additional Kauai Finch’, it might have been a Psittirostra sp.. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] S. L. Olson; H. F. James: Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part II. Passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-91. 1991

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edited: 06.11.2020

Brachygalba lugubris ssp. phaeonota Todd

Todd’s Brown Jacamar (Brachygalba lugubris ssp. phaeonota)

Todd’s Brown Jacamar was described in 1943, originally as a distinct species; it is known only from a single specimen that was found in 1923 in Tonantins at the Rio Solimões in central Brazil.

The taxon was described as follows.:

“… Upperparts dark brown (bister), the pileum a little paler (sepia); wings and tail black with a faint steel blue gloss, the former with a narrow white band underneath, at the base of the remiges; throat, breast, sides, and under tail-coverts dark brown like the upperparts, leaving only the middle of the abdomen soiled white; feathers of the chin and upper throat with faint whitish shaft-stripes and rufescent tips; “iris milky white; feet blackish; bill black.” Wing, 71; tail, 53; exposed culmen, 43.” [1]

Todd’s Brown Jacamar is said to differ from the nominate race by its uniformly darker, more brownish, less rufescent coloration, by lacking any white above the eyes and by its “dark-colored throat with just the faintest possible suggestion of a pale submaxillary line on either side.” [1]

This form is not accepted by all ornithologists but may very well be valid, if so, it appears to be extinct now.
***

syn. Brachygalba phaeonota Todd

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Depiction from: ‘P. L. Sclater: A monograph of the jacamars and puff-birds, or families Galbuliae and Bucconidae. London, published for the author by R. H. Porter 1882’

(public domain)

*********************

References:

[1] W. E. C. Todd: Studies in the Jacamars and Puff-birds. Annals of the Carnegie Museum 30: 1-18. 1943-1974

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edited: 01.03.2024

Neochen sp. ‘Barbuda’

Barbuda Goose (Neochen sp.)

This form is known from several subfossil remains including a carpometacarpus, a cervical vertebra, two manual phalanges, a pedal phalanx as well as a tibiotarsus recovered during excavations at Two Foot Bay on the island of Barbuda, Antigua and Barbuda, in the Lesser Antilles.

The fossils, however, cannot be distinguished clearly from the bones of the recent Orinoco Goose (Neochen jubata (Spix)), which today is confined to the tropical part of South America but might once have been much more widespread.

The Barbudan form may have been identical with the Orinoco Goose or with the extinct Barbados Goose (Neochen barbadiana (Brodkorb)), which itself is in need of a review. 

*********************

References:

[1] Gregory K. Pregill; David W. Steadman; David R. Watters: Late Quaternary vertebrate faunas of the Lesser Antilles: historical components of Caribbean biogeography. Bulletin of Carnegie Museum of Natural History 30: 1-51. 1994

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edited: 08.01.2024

Turnix sp. ‘Timor’

Timor Buttonquail (Turnix sp.)

This bird is known from several subfossil bones that were found during excavations on the island of Timor, Indonesia; it occurred on that island sympatrically with another buttonquail species, the Red-backed Buttonquail (Turnix maculosus (Temminck)) which is native to parts of Asia as well as Australia.

The remains were dated to an age of about 1372 to 1300 BP. 

The Timor Buttonquail was larger than the other species and probably was endemic to the island or at least to the region, it is now clearly extinct. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Hanneke J. M. Meijer; Julien Louys; Sue O’Connor: First record of avian extinctions from the Late Pleistocene and Holocene of Timor Leste. Quaternary Science Reviews 203: 170-184. 2019

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edited: 03.10.2020

Leucopeza semperi P. L. Sclater

Semper’s Warbler (Leucopeza semperi)

Semper’s Warbler was described in 1876; the species was endemic to the island of St. Lucia in the Lesser Antilles. It was a ground-dwelling species that inhabited the undergrowth of the montane rainforests and the elfin woodlands of the highest mountains.

The bird reached a size of about 14.5 cm; the plumage was inconspicuously dark grey above and greyish white below; the beak was greyish yellow; the legs were yellow.

The species was quite abundant when it was discovered but begun to disappear during the middle of the 20th century, most likely due to the introduction of Small Indian Mongooses (Urva auropunctata (Hodgson)) with the intention to control the populations of rodents and snakes. It was finally last seen in 1961; however, several unconfirmed sightings took place until 2003. 

*********************

Depiction from: ‘P. L. Sclater: On some additional species of birds from St. Lucia, West Indies. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1876: 13-14’

(public domain)

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edited: 17.02.2024

Geospiza magnirostris ssp. magnirostris Gould

Large Ground Finch (Geospiza magnirostris ssp. magnirostris)

The Large Ground Finch was described in 1837 based on material that was collected by Charles Darwin on the Galápagos Islands.

The species reaches a size of about 16 cm; the males are mostly blackish brown while the females are speckled dark – and light brown.

Today this species can be found on all the main islands within the archipelago, except for Darwin, Española, and San Cristóbal, where it is thought to have become extinct. 

***

When Charles Darwin visited the Galápagos Islands in 1835, he collected several specimens on several of the islands; his specimens, however, don’t always bear reliable labels, and in some cases, he seems to have forgotten on which island he had collected which specimen.

Indeed, Darwin’s typespecimens have provided a considerable nightmare of taxonomic problems for subsequent ornithologists, based largely on their controversial localities. Darwin claimed, for example, that specimens of a peculiar large-beaked form of Geospiza magnirostris came from Chatham [Isla Floreana] and Charles islands [Isla San Cristóbal]. But after more than a century of subsequent collecting without finding any such large-billed specimens, ornithologists found themselves faced with a puzzle. Either this form had become extinct on Chatham and Charles islands, where no magnirostris specimens (large or small) had ever been found by other expeditions; or else Darwin’s specimens must have come from islands other than those indicated.” [1]

***

This very large-billed Large Ground Finch is often treated as some kind of nominate form of the species but may in fact be nothing but a just large-billed population that is now gone for whatever reasons.

*********************  

References:  

[1] Frank J. Sulloway: The Beagle collections of Darwin’s finches (Geospizinae).- Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Zoology) 43: 49-94. 1982

*********************

Depiction from: ‘John Gould: The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, under the command of Captain Fitzroy, during the years 1832-1836. Part III, Birds. London, Smith, Elder & Co. 1838’  

(public domain)

*********************

edited: 31.05.2021

Tongoenas burleyi Steadman & Takano

Giant Tongan Pigeon (Tongoenas burleyi)

This very large but still fully volant species is known for quite some time; it is known only on the basis of subfossil bones that were recovered from several sites on some of the Tongan islands, including ‘Eua, Foa, Lifuka, and Tongatapu. The species was finally named in 2020. [1]

In life, this species must have reached a length of more than 50 cm, making it one of the largest pigeons at all, only exceeded in size by the New Guinean crowned pigeons (Goura spp.).

The giant Tongan Pigeon died out shortly after the arrival of the first Polynesian settlers at around 2800 years BP.. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] David W. Steadman; Oona M. Takano: A new genus and species of pigeon (Aves, Columbidae) from the Kingdom of Tonga, with an evaluation of hindlimb osteology of columbids from Oceania. Zootaxa 4810(3): 401-420. 2020

*********************

edited: 22.08.2022

Eclectus infectus ssp. ‘Vanuatu’

Vanuatu Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus infectus ssp.)

This taxon is known from only two bones, a tibiotarsus and an ulna, that were recovered from a Late Holocene archaeological site on the island of Malakula, Vanuatu.

I personally would like to give that form a distinct subspecific placement, since other Eclectus Parrot taxa (Eclectus cornelia Bonaparte, Eclectus polychloros (Scopoli), Eclectus riedeli Meyer, Eclectus roratus (Müller)) are also usually restricted to single islands or island groups.

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References:

[1] David W. Steadman: A new species of extinct parrot (Psittacidae: Eclectus) from Tonga and Vanuatu, South Pacific. Pacific Science 60(1): 137-145. 2006

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edited: 19.05.2022

Stephanoaetus mahery Goodman

Malagasy Crowned Eagle (Stephanoaetus mahery)

The Malagasy Crowned Eagle was described in 1994 based on subfossil remains found on the island of Madagascar.

The species was quite similar to the African Crowned Eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus (L.)), one of the largest eagles in the world, but was probably even slightly larger.

The eagle inhabited the forested areas of Madagascar until around 1500 AD. And was wiped out by humans.

***

Like its African cousin this species was able to hunt for the middle-sized to large primate species, the lemures, and apparently was one of the apex predators on the island; in fact the recent lemures still show a distinct raptor avoidance behavior that dates back to the time when their biggest enemy was still alive.

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Photo: Bernard Dupont

(under creative commons license (2.0))
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

*********************

edited: 25.05.2021

Accipiter quartus Balouet & Olson

Gracile Goshawk (Accipiter quartus)

This species was described in 1989; it is known only by subfossil remains that were recovered from cave deposits on the island of Grande Terre, New Caledonia. [1]

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References:

[1] J. C. Balouet; Storrs L. Olson: Fossil birds from Late Quaternary deposits in New Caledonia. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 469: 23-27. 1989

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edited: 23.02.2022

Gallirallus temptatus Kirchman & Steadman

Rota Rail (Gallirallus temptatus)

The Rota Rail was described in 2006; it is known only from subfossil remains that were found on the island of Rota in the Mariana Islands.

***

Today, the island of Rota harbors a translocated population of Guam Rails (Gallirallus owstoni (Rothschild)), a closely related species that was extirpated from its home island, Guam, the island next to Rota.

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Guam Rail

Photo: Trenton Voytko
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/trentonamora
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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edited: 04.01.2023

Turnix sylvatica ssp. suluensis Mearns

Sulu Small Buttonquail (Turnix sylvatica ssp. suluensis)

The Small Buttonquil (Turnix sylvatica (Desfontaines)) occurs with nine subspecies from parts of Africa and southern Europe to Southeast Asia; about four subspecies occur in the Philippine Islands alone.

The subspecies that once occurred on the island of Jolo in the Sulu Islands was last seen in the 1950s and is now considered most likely extinct.

***

The nominate form was known to inhabit the island of Sicily, Italy, where the species apparently was last recorded during the 1920s, as well as Andalusia, Spain where it was last recorded in 1981. This form survives today only in a small area in Morocco, where only an extremely small population of about a hand full of individuals exist. [1][2]

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References:

[1] Carlo G. Violani; Bruno Massa: Extinction of the Andalusian Hemipode Turnix s. sylvatica (Desf.) in the Mediterranean region. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 113(4): 225-229. 1993
[2] Daniel Lingenhöhl: Erste europäische Vogelart seit Riesenalk ausgestorben. Spektrum.de. 16. November 2018

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edited: 03.10.2020

Lathrotriccus euleri ssp. flaviventris (Lawrence)

Grenadan Euler’s Flycatcher (Lathrotriccus euleri ssp. flaviventris)

 

The Grenadan Euler’s Flycatcher was a subspecies of Euler’s Flycatcher (Lathrotriccus euleri (Cabanis)), an rather inconspicuous  bird species that is distributed over large parts of northern South America.

The Grenadan subspecies was restricted to the island of Grenada northwest of Trinidad and Tobago; it differed from the nominate form (see photo below) by its slightly more yellow colored underside.

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Euler’s Flycatcher (Lathrotriccus euleri); nominate form

Photo:  Francesco Veronesi

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

*********************

edited: 05.05.2022

Dryolimnas augusti Mourer-Chauviré, Bour, Ribes & Moutou

Reunion Wood Rail (Dryolimnas augusti)

This species, also known as Dubois’ Wood Rail, is known from subfossil remains that were recovered from deposits in the Caverne de la Tortue, a ccave on the island of Réunion.

There is, however, one contemporary report of a “Râle des Bois“, a wood-rail, that was made in 1674 by Sieur Dubois, a French traveler, that might possibly refer to this species.

The Reunion Rail must have gone extinct shortly after that date.

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References:

[1] Anthony Cheke; Julian P. Hume: Lost Land of the Dodo: The ecological history of Mauritius, Réunion, and Rodrigues. Yale University Press 2008

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edited: 03.01.2024

Rhodacanthis litotes ‘O’ahu’

Oahu Koa-Finch (Rhodacanthis sp.)

The Oahu Koa Finch was apparently very closely related to the so-called Primitive Koa Finch (Rhodacanthis litotes James & Olson), described in 2005 based on subfossil remains.

The difference in aperture of the nasal cavity in the Oahu vs. Maui fossils of R. litotes suggests that those two populations might be recognized as distinct species if more fossils or genetic data were available for them.” [1]

This species has not yet been described.

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References:

[1] Helen F. James; Storrs L. Olson: The diversity and biogeography of koa-finches (Drepanidino: Rhodacanthis), with descriptions of two new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 144: 527-541. 2005

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edited: 04.01.2024

Accipitridae gen. & sp. ‘Hispaniola’

Hispaniolan Eagle (Accipitridae gen. & sp.)

The Hispaniolan Eagle is an undescribed bird of prey that inhabited the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean; it was first recognized as a new taxon in 2019.

The species reached the same dimensions as the largest living eagle species, the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetus (L.)) and the Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyia (L.)), which both are known to feed on middle-sized mammals.

The Hispaniolan Eagle certainly preyed upon arboreal sloths, primates and caviomorph rodents, which all disappeared during the mid-Holocene after the arrival of humans. It is thus very likely that this eagle also died out after its prey animals vanished. [1]

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References:

[1] David W. Steadman; Juan N. Almonte Milan; Alexis M. Mychajliw: An extinct eagle (Aves: Accipitridae) from the Quaternary of Hispaniola. JJournal of Raptor Research 53(3): 319-333. 2019

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edited: 14.11.2021

Ciconia maltha Miller

La Brea Stork (Ciconia maltha)

The La Brea Stork was described in 1910, originally based on fossil bones that were recovered from the rich La Brea Tar Pits in California, USA; however, the species was for more widespread and is now known to also have occurred in other parts of what today is the USA.

The species already appears in Late Pliocene deposits and disappeared at the end of the Pleistocene, but the population that inhabited the island of Cuba apparently survived well into the Holocene era and may even have been eradicated by the first human settlers.

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edited: 19.8.2022

Dryolimnas chekei Hume

Cheke’s Wood Rail Rail (Dryolimnas chekei)

This species was only described in 2019 from subfossil remains that were known for some time but had been misinterpreted as belonging to the White-throated Rail (Dryolimnas cuvieri (Pucheran)) from Madagascar, which apparently is a rare vagrant to Mauritius.

No contemporary reports of this species are known. 

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References:

[1] Julian Pender Hume: Systematics, morphology and ecology of rails (Aves: Rallidae) of the Mascarene Islands, with one new species. Zootaxa 4626(1): 1-107. 2019

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edited: 03.01.2023

Rallus sp. ‘Santa Maria’

Santa Maria Rail (Rallus sp.)

This form is known from ten subfossil bones, most of them fragmentary only, collected on the island of Santa Maria in the Azores group, Portugal.

The Santa Maria Rail most likely was a distinct species. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Josep Antoni Alcover; Harald Pieper; Fernando Pereira; Juan Carlos Rando: Five new extinct species of rails (Aves: Gruiformes: Rallidae) from the Macaronesian Islands (North Atlantic Ocean). Zootaxa 4057(2): 151-190. 2015

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edited: 10.09.2019

Otus grucheti (Mourer-Chauviré, Bour, Moutou & Ribes)

Reunion Scops Owl (Otus grucheti)

The Reunion Scops Owl was restricted to the island of Réunion in the Mascarene Islands; it was described in 1994 and is known exclusively from subfossil remains.

The species has not been mentioned in any of the many contemporary reports; thus it is believed that it died out very shortly after the arrival of the first human settlers on the island.

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edited: 02.05.2022

Corvus pumilis Wetmore

Puerto Rican Crow (Corvus pumilis)

The Puerto Rican Crow, described in 1920, is known only from subfossil remains that were found on Puerto Rico, where it lived sympatrically with the White-necked Crow (Corvus leucognaphalus Daudin) (see photo below), as well as on St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands.

The reasons for its extinction are not known and it appears to have disappeared already before the islands were settled by humans.

*********************

Photo: ZankaM
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

*********************

References:

[1] Alexander Wetmore: Ancient records of birds from the island of St. Croix with observations on extinct and living birds of Puerto Rico”. The Journal of Agricultural of the University of Puerto Rico 21(1): 5-16. 1937

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edited: 10.01.2024

Pterodroma rupinarum (Olson)

Saint Helena Petrel (Pterodroma rupinarum)

The Saint Helena Petrel was described in 1975, it is known only from subfossil remains.

The species disappeared shortly after the first human settlers set their feet onto the island probably due to direct hunting but also due to predation by introduced mammalian predators.

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edited: 29.05.2021

Amazona vittata ssp. ‘Barbuda’

Barbuda Amazon (Amazona vittata ssp.)

This form is known from a nearly complete rostrum found in 1962 in the deposits of a precultural cave site on the island of Barbuda, Antigua and Barbuda.

The specimen agrees with the the rostrum of a modern Puerto Rican Amazon (Amazona vittata (Boddaert)), which formerly might have been far more widespead than it was in historical times, let alone today. [1]

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References:

[1] Charles A. Woods; Florence E. Sergile: Biogeography of the West Indies: Patterns and Perspectives, Second Edition. CRC Press; Auflage: Subsequent 2001

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edited: 13.02.2020

Otus siaoensis (Schlegel)

Siau Scops Owl (Otus siaoensis)

The Siau Scops Owl is a highly threatened, very likely already extinct owl species that was endemic to the island of Siau north of Sulawesi, Indonesia; it is known only from the type specimen that had been collected in 1866.

The species reached a size of 17 cm.

The Siau Scops Owl is closely related to the Sulawesi Scops Owl (Otus manadensis (Quoy & Gaimard)) (see photo below) and was for some time considered a subspecies of it but is now regarded as a distinct species.

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Sulawesi Scops Owl (Otus manadensis)

Photo: A. S. Kono

(under creative commons license (3.0))
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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edited: 02.05.2022

Aplonis diluvialis Steadman

Huahine Starling (Aplonis diluvialis)

The Huahine Starling was described in 1989, it is known only from subfossil remains, which were excavated from archaeological deposits on the island of Huahine in the Society Islands. [1]

The species was quite large, it might have reached a size of up to 29 cm.

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References:

[1] David W. Steadman: A new species of starling (Sturnidae, Aplonis) from an archaeological site on Huahine, Society Islands. Notornis 36: 161–169. 1989

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edited: 30.04.2021

Hesperoburhinus bistriatus ssp. ‘Cuba’

Cuban Double-striped Thick-knee (Hesperoburhinus bistriatus ssp.)

This form, which may be identical to the Hispaniola Dominican Triel (Hesperoburhinus bistriatus ssp. dominicensis (Cory)), is only known from subfossil bones. 

It was probably hunted and exterminated by the first human settlers.

*********************  

References:  

[1] Storrs L. Olson: Fossil Birds of the Bahamas. Bahamas Naturalis 6(1):33-37. 1982 
[2] Sam T. Turvey: Holocene Extinctions. Oxford University Press, USA 2009

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edited: 03.10.2011

Monarcha mendozae ssp. mendozae (Hartlaub)

Hiva Oa Monarch (Monarcha mendozae ssp. mendozae)

The Hiva Oa Monarch is the nominate form of a species that not only occurred on the islands of Hiva Oa and Tahuata but also on the neighboring island of Mohotani, where a distinct, endemic subspecies, the Mohotani Monarch (Monarcha medozae ssp. motanensis Murphy & Mathews), survives until today.

The species was locally known as kamokao atua respectively koma’o atu’a; the birds reached a length of 17 cm; the males of the nominate form were completely velvety black, while the females had a black head, the body was white with a pinkish tinge on the underside, the wings were black and white, the tail was white and had black subterminal spots.

The Hiva Oa Monarch disappeared from Tahuata shortly after 1922, when some specimens were collected by the Whitney South Sea Expedition; the very last record, however, was of a single bird that was seen in 1975 in a small valley of the O’otua Plateau on Hiva Oa. [1][2][3]

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References:

[1] Robert Cushman Murphy; Gregory M. Mathews: Birds collected during the Whitney South Sea Expedition. V. American Museum Novitates 337: 1-18. 1928
[2] D. T. Holyoak; Jean-Claude Thibault: Contribution à l’étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Mémoires du Muséum national d’histoire naturelle 127(1): 1-209. 1984
[3] Jean-Claude Thibault; Jean-Yves Meyer: Contemporary extinctions and population declines of the monarchs (Pomarea spp.) in French Polynesia, South Pacific. Oryx 35(1): 73-80. 2001

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edited: 08.05.2022

Ninox sp. ‘New Caledonia’

New Caledonian Boobook (Ninox sp.)

This taxon is known only from subfossil remains that were found in the deposits of at least two caves on the western coast of the island of Grande Terre, New Caledonia.

This form is believed to be extinct, however, there’s a slight chance that it may still survive, since the nocturnal avifauna of the New Caledonian islands still is very much underexplored.

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edited: 05.11.2021

Acrocephalus yamashinae (Taka-Tsukasa)

Pagan Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus yamashinae)

The Pagan Reed Warbler was endemic to Pagan, a volcanic island in the northern part of the Marianas archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

The species reached a size of about 17 cm and superficially resembled the likewise extinct Nightingale Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus luscinius (Quoy & Gaimard)).

The Pagan Reed Warbler was restricted to the reeds around the two wetlands that exist on the island; it disappeared due to the introduction of ungulates who destroyed much of the island’s native vegetation. It was last seen in 1969 and is now clearly extinct.

***

syn. Acrocephalus luscinius ssp. yamashinae (Taka-Tsukasa)

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edited: 12.01.2024

Ciridops tenax Olson & James

Stout-legged Finch (Ciridops tenax)

This species was described in 1991 on the basis of subfossil remains that were recovered from Holocene deposits on the island of Kaua’i, Hawaiian Islands.

The biology of this species is not known.

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References:

[1] S. L. Olson; H. F. James: Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part II. Passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-91. 1991

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edited: 26.08.2022

Ptilinopus rarotongensis ssp. ‘Mangaia’

Mangaia Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus rarotongensis ssp.)

This form is known based on a single subfossil femur that was found in the Te Rua Rere Cave on the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands.

The species still occurs (with two subspecies which may in fact be candidates for splitting) on the islands of ‘Atiu and Rarotonga, both likewise in the Cook archipelago, and may have constituted another distinct, now extinct subspecies. [2]

***

There is yet (of course) an interesting account, which is given by  D. T. Holyoak and J. C. Thibault in 1984.:

P. r. sous-espèce?

… 
Mangaia: un habitant de cette île déclara, en 1973, qu’il connaissaitle «Kukupa» et que cet oiseau habitait seulement les bois de la région corallienne. Il sut imiter l’appel et décrivit le nid. Toutefois, Ducula pacifica, qui est également inconnue dans cette île, pourrait être l’oiseau décrit.
” [1]

translation:

P. r. subspecies?


Mangaia: a resident of this island declared, in 1973, that he knew «Kukupa» and that this bird lived only in the woods of the coral region. He knew how to imitate the call and described the nest. However, Ducula pacifica, which is also unknown on this island, could be the described bird.

Kukupa is the local name for the Lilac-crowned Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus rarotongensis Hartlaub & Finsch), and (most if not all) Polynesians make a clear distinction between the smaller green fruit-doves (Ptilinopus spp.) and the larger imperial pigeons (Ducula spp.), which on the Cook Islands are called rupe.

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References:

[1] D. T. Holyoak; J.-C. Thibault: Contribution à l’étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Mémoires du Muséum national d’histoire naturelle 127(1): 1-209. 1984
[2] David W. Steadman: Fossil birds from Mangaia, southern Cook Islands. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 105(2): 58-66. 1985

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edited: 09.03.2020

Bountyphaps obsoleta Worthy & Wragg

Henderson Island Archaic Pigeon (Bountyphaps obsoleta)

This large columbiform was described in 2008 based on subfossil bone material that had been collected from cave deposits on Henderson Island in the Pitcairn Islands.

The species was hunted by the Polynesian settlers and birds were also brought (dead or alive?) to the Gambier Islands, where their subfossil remains were found in archaeological sites. [1]

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References:

[1] Stanislas Rigal; Patrick V. Kirch; Trevor H. Worthy: New prehistoric avifaunas from the Gambier Group, French Polynesia. Palaeontologia Electronica 21.3.4A 1-35. 2018

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edited: 25.04.2022

Rhipidura rufifrons ssp. uraniae Oustalet

Guam Rufous Fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons ssp. uraniae)

The Guam Rufous Fantail is one of the victims of the Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis (Merrem in Bechstein)), a snake species that was introduced to Guam probably sometimes during the 1940s resulting in the devastating loss of nearly all native bird species.

Like so many other bird species from guam, this one was last seen during the 1985s, it is now extinct.

***

The Rufous Fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons (Latham)), if treated as a single species, occurs from eastern Australia to New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and parts of Micronesia; however, this species is a candidate for splitting, which would lead to the Guam Rufous Fantail being treated as a distinct, monotypic species, while the other two remaining subspecies found in the Mariana Islands today (the one from Saipan Island is depicted below) would be regarded to as another, closely related one.

***

The name that the Chamorro, the native inhabitans of the Mariana Islands, gave this bird is Chichirika, this name is now apparently used for the Eurasian Tree Sparow (Passer montanus (L.)), a species that was imported to the Mariana Islands.

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Saipan Rufous Fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons ssp. saipanensis Hartert)

Photo: Peter

(under creative commons license (2.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

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edited: 30.10.2020