Tag Archives: Gallinula

Gallinula silvestris (Mayr)

Makira Woodhen (Gallinula silvestris)

This species is only known from the type specimen that was shot on the island of Makira in the Solomon Islands in 1929.  

The Makira Woodhen reached a size of approx. 27 cm and was dark brown in color, the lower body, head and neck shimmered bluish, the bird was flightless.  

The last sighting took place in 1953 when a single bird was seen in the center of the island, according to the statements of the inhabitants of nearby villages, the rail was still quite common at that time.  

The species may still exist but would be highly threatened nonetheless.


edited: 02.05.2021

Gallinula sp. ‘Buka’

Buka Gallinule (Gallinula sp.)

This species was one of several species that form a group of more or less flightless gallinules that apparently formerly inhabited large parts of Melanesia and western Polynesia, and of which only two survived at least into historical times: the Samoan Woodhen (Gallinula pacifica (Hartlaub & Finsch)) and the Makira Woodhen (Gallinula silvestris (Mayr)).

These species are sometimes placed in their own genus – Pareudiastes, which, however, cannot be accepted since a genus can only evolve once and not for several times.

Thus, all of the flightless gallinules from Oceania must be laced within the genus Gallinula, or, if they turn out to be somehow distinct enough, into their own different genera. 


The Buka Gallinule is so far known only from subfossil remains, the species was definetly hunted by humans and probably died out mainly due to overhunting. [1]



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


edited: 22.05.2019