Family New Zealand Wrens (Acanthisittidae)


Stephens Island Rockwren (Traversia lyalli)


French: Xénique de Stephens German: Stephenstummelschwanz Spanish: Acantisita de la Stephens
Other common names: Lyall’s Rockwren, Stephens Wren

Traversia lyalli


, 1894,

Stephens Island, New Zealand




Stephens I, New Zealand. Wider range has been suggested on basis of subfossil bones found on both North I and South I; it is unclear, however, whether these refer to a similar but distinct taxon. If indeed distinct from those mainland populations, it may have had the smallest natural range of any known bird.

It may also have been the only flightless passerine and, further, may have been driven to extinction by a single cat, belonging to the Stephens I lighthouse-keeper (from whose name the specific epithet derives). It is, however, known that other feral cats were on the island by 1894; the species was extinct by November 1895#R.

Descriptive notes

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Recommended citation

(2018). Stephens Island Rockwren (Traversia lyalli). 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 16 October 2018).