Family Buttonquails (Turnicidae)

Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)

New Caledonian Buttonquail (Turnix novaecaledoniae)


French: Turnix calédonien German: Neukaledonien-Laufhühnchen Spanish: Torillo de Nueva Caledonia

Turnix novæ caledoniæ


, 1889,

#R New Caledonia


Until recently was considered conspecific with T. varius, but recognized as very distinctive in HBW and separated in one recent list#R; unique specimen, male with no specific locality and undated, but registered in NHMUK in 1889, differs from males of T. varius in its smaller size (wing 80 mm vs 101.5 in one published sample#R; bill 14.1, tarsus 20, tail 39) (allow 3); dorsal and rump feathers mostly black vs black with rusty barring, without the rust colour predominating on the mantle, and with proportionately more black markings in wing-coverts (2); breast barred blackish-and-buff with some pale grey bases vs pale grey with buff blades with narrow blackish edges (2). Monotypic.


New Caledonia (probably extinct).

Descriptive notes

c. 19 cm. Compared to previously conspecific T. varius, the present species is small (one bird had wing c. 82 mm, whereas minimum wing length for race ... read more




Beyond the fact that the species inhabits grasslands, nothing is known.

Food and feeding

Diet and foraging behaviour completely unknown.


No information.


None known; presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (POSSIBLY EXTINCT). Restricted-range species: present in New Caledonia EBA. If species survives, population suspected to number fewer than 50... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). New Caledonian Buttonquail (Turnix novaecaledoniae). 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 29 January 2020).