J. F. Gmelin, 1789,
Dusky Sound, South Island, New Zealand.
Race †stokesii known only from three museum skins and a few sightings. Identity of race that occurred on Stewart I uncertain but assumed to be †variabilis, which was described from offshore islets. Three subspecies recognized.
Extinction thought to have been caused by introduced predators, to which, as a ground-nester, it was particularly vulnerable. North I race †stokesii last seen in 1955. Nominate race in South I was once common, but populations declined rapidly after Europeans arrived; by 1950s had become extremely rare, and last sighting was in 1968. Race †variabilis was common on Stewart I and, especially, its satellite islands in 1930s, but was last recorded on Stewart I in 1950; by 1960s persisted only on offshore islet of Big South Cape I, but arrival on island of rats in 1962 led to rapid decline, with last confirmed record in August 1964. Six birds had earlier been translocated from Big South Cape I to nearby rat-free Kaimohu I; two were seen on Kaimohu in 1967 and 1972, but none has been reported subsequently.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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