Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Extinct in the Wild

Guam Rail (Hypotaenidia owstoni)


French: Râle de Guam German: Guamralle Spanish: Rascón de Guam

Hypotaenidia owstoni


, 1895,



Sometimes placed in genus Gallirallus or Rallus. Closely related to H. philippensis, and perhaps also to H. rovianae; probably also to extinct †H. wakensis, †H. dieffenbachii, †H. pacifica and perhaps †Cabalus modestus. Monotypic.


Guam (extinct in wild).

Introduced to nearby Rota I, and recently (2011) to Cocos I (off S Guam)#R.

Descriptive notes

28 cm; male 174–303 (241) g, female 170–274 (220) g. Virtually flightless; can fly for only 1–3m; tail very short and decomposed; toes very short. In fresh... read more


During breeding season makes loud penetrating screeches “keee-yu”; also a series of... read more


Formerly occurred in most habitats on Guam, including forest, secondary grassland, mown grass, e.g... read more

Food and feeding

Snails, slugs, insects (Orthoptera, Dermaptera and Lepidoptera), geckos and some vegetable matter; also fish, tomatoes, melon, palm leaves... read more


Breeds throughout year, but possibly with peak period during rains, Jul–Nov. Monogamous and territorial. Nest located on dry ground... read more


None recorded.

Status and conservation

EXTINCT IN THE WILD. In past, widely distributed and abundant, although taken by local people with dogs and snares, and despite presence of introduced predators such as feral... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2019). Guam Rail (Hypotaenidia owstoni). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 January 2019).