Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)


Wake Rail (Hypotaenidia wakensis)


French: Râle de Wake German: Wakeralle Spanish: Rascón de la Wake

Hypotænidia wakensis


, 1903,

Wake Island, latitude 19º N, longitude 167º E, Pacific Ocean


Sometimes placed in genus Gallirallus. Monotypic.


Wake I and Wilkes I, in WC Pacific Ocean (N of Marshall Is).

Although not uncommon before Second World War, this species was extinct by 1946, its entire population presumably having been taken for food by the starving Japanese garrison between 1942 and 1945#R. It is likely that powerful storms caused periodic inundation of the islands, resulting in significant loss of wildlife. Predation by rats, with which the rail had co-existed probably since prehistoric times, considered unlikely to have played a part in its extinction#R.

Descriptive notes

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Recommended citation

(2018). Wake Rail (Hypotaenidia wakensis). 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 December 2018).