Crakes and Rails

(Family Rallidae)

Stocky semi-aquatic birds of wetlands and adjacent grassland, typically with elongated toes. The endemic White Gallinule Porphyrio albus was aggressively hunted by sailors and whalers in the late 1700s and early 1800s and likely became rapidly extinct around this time. The 21 other species on the Australian list includes four extant endemics, the Lord Howe Woodhen Hypotaenidia sylvestris, Australian Spotted Crake Porzana fluminea, Black-tailed Native-hen Tribonyx ventralis and Tasmanian Native-hen T. mortierii. Among the non-endemic breeding species are the Lewin’s Rail Lewinia pectoralis, Chestnut Rail Eulabeornis castaneoventris, Buff-banded Rail H. philippensis, Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio and Dusky Moorhen Gallinula tenebrosa

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