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Lord Howe Island Woodhen

Lord Howe Island Woodhen

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Published by draculavanhelsing
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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Sep 20, 2013
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Conservation status
The Lord Howe Island Woodhen is listedas an
Endangered Species
on Schedule 1of the New South Wales
Threatened SpeciesConservation Act, 1995
(TSC Act). Thisspecies is also listed as a
Vulnerable Species
on Schedule 1 of the Commonwealth
 Endangered Species Protection Act, 1992
(summarised from Marchant& Higgins 1993)
340-420mm (male)320-370mm (female)
490-520mm (male)470-490mm (female)
45-5 mm
530g (male)460g (female)
The Lord Howe Island Woodhen is aflightless, medium-sized rail. Individualsare uniform olive-brown with rufous banding through the wings. The bill is pinky brown and the legs and feet are grey-brown.The adult has a bright red iris.The species vocalises with a variety of high- pitched staccato calls. The territorial callconsists of a series of loud piercing notesgiven at any time of the day or night.When alarmed the species may give a loud,long piercing note and to maintain contactindividuals give a low, resonant grunting or  purring.
Lord Howe IslandWoodhen
Gallirallus sylvestris 
(Sclater, 1869)
Lord Howe Island WoodhenB Miller/NPWS
Other common name
This species is endemic to Lord Howe Islandin the south-western Pacific Ocean. Thespecies formerly ranged from sea level tothe tops of the mountains. However, by themid 19th Century, it was confined to thesummit areas of Mount Gower and MountLidgebird (Garnett 1992). Since asuccessful captive-breeding program,control of predators and re-introduction, thespecies now occurs throughout the island.
Recorded occurrences inconservation reserves
Lord Howe Island World Heritage Area(NPWS 1999).
The Lord Howe Island Woodhen inhabitsthe forest of the subtropical, oceanic LordHowe Island (Fullagar 1985). In thehighland areas, the species occurs on boulder-covered slopes, steep, scree valleysand plateaux (Disney & Fullagar 1984). Inthe lowlands the species has been recordedin stands of palms, Banyan Fig, Grey Bark and Black Butt (Disney & Fullagar 1984).
The diurnal Lord Howe Island Woodhenforages with its bill for worms, insect larvaeand crustaceans (Marchant & Higgins1993).The avifauna of Lord Howe Island have beensubjected to significant disturbances since
Map Compiled From:Species Sightings from the NPWS Atlas of NSW Wildlife DatabaseRoads and Rivers from AUSLIG
Copyright NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, August 1999
This map is not guaranteed tobe free from error or omissionThe NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and its employeesdisclaim liability for any act doneor omission madeon theinformation in the map and any consequences of such acts or omissions
# Y# Y# Y# Y# Y# Y# Y# Y# Y# Y# Y# Y# Y# Y# Y
$$$$ $
BegaBourkeBroken HillDubboGraftonGriffithLismoreMoreeNewcastlePort MacquarieSydneyTamworthTibooburraWagga WaggaWollongongThe sightings represented on this map areonly indicative. They cannot be consideredas a comprehensive inventory and maycontain errors and omissions.
Lord Howe Island50050100Kilometers
Lord Howe Island Woodhenpost 1980 sightings
 NPWS records of the Lord Howe Island Woodhen in NSW
the island was permanently colonised byhumans in 1834. This has included theclearing of lowland areas and the impact of introduced species. Of 15 commonlyoccurring endemic bird species, only 6remain with 9 extinction’s (Hutton 1991).Feral pigs and cats were removed from theisland in an eradication program anddomestic cats are being phased out througha desexing operation initiated by the LordHowe Island Board (Hutton 1991).In 1973 the species had declined to such acritically endangered level that the decisionwas made to remove two breeding pairs fromthe wild into a captive breeding program onthe island. Between 1981-1983, 85 captive bred birds were re-introduced into the wildand in combination with predator controls,have successfully re-established a population on the island.The size of the population has risen toaround 200 fluctuating between 180-220 birds and the species now occupies virtuallythe entire remaining available habitat. Thissmall island population requires ongoingmonitoring to guard against future decline(Marchant &Higgins 1993).Breeding may occur throughout the year inthe lowlands, however, in the highlands,laying occurs from August to January.Generally, both parents incubate 1-4 eggsfor a period of 20-23 days. The young are brooded and fed by both parents and often by the young of the previous brood(Marchant & Higgins 1993).
Loss of habitat
Predation by the Masked Owl
Predation by rats and cats
(summarised from Recher & Clark 1974; Miller & Bullette 1985)
Protection and maintenance of known or  potential habitat
Control of introduced animals around potential habitat areas
Recovery plans
A recovery plan is in preparation for thisspecies.
Lord Howe Island Woodhen NPWS

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