Tahiti rail

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Tahiti rail
Many paintings of the bird.
Conservation status

Extinct  (late 18th - 19th century) (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Gallirallus
Binomial name
Gallirallus pacificus

The Tahiti rail (Gallirallus pacificus) or Tahiti red-billed rail is a poorly known extinct species of rail. It once lived on Tahiti. The second voyage of James Cook in 1773 got one. It was described by Johann Reinhold Forster and painted by his son, Georg. The Tahitian name was ebōnā or ōmnā.

Name[change | change source]

The related buff-banded rail

Due to a major mix-up with the name, the name Rallus ecaudatus was commonly used in the mid-late 20th century to refer to this bird. This is, however, in error, as the name is a subspecies of the buff-banded rail. Today it is known as Gallirallus philippensis ecaudatus. Also, at least once, the Tahitian bird has been referred to by the scientific name of the Samoan wood rail, Gallinula pacifica, in a major scientific work.

Extinction[change | change source]

Not much is known about the bird's extinction. One idea is that the bird might have been prey to other species. The bird's habitat had active volcanos.

Sources[change | change source]