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Chlidonias

Stewart Island snipe (Coenocorypha aucklandica iredalei)

The last of the mainland snipe of New Zealand, the Stewart Island snipe only became extinct around 1964 after rats invaded its last refuge on Big South Cape Island off Stewart Island in the far south of the country. An attempt to transfer some individuals to a rat-free island failed as it proved impossible to keep them alive for the time required (South Island saddlebacks did survive the transfer, saving that subspecies, but bush wrens unfortunately failed to establish on the new island and also became extinct). The only other snipe known in the living state from the main islands of New Zealand were two individuals seen (one collected and deposited in the Auckland Museum) on Little Barrier Island near Auckland in about 1870. Subfossil remains show that snipe were widespread throughout the country before European arrival. They were probably wiped out by Maori hunting and introduced Polynesian rats. Other species still survive on the Chathams Islands and some of the subantarctic islands. Extinct [i]Coenocorypha[/i] snipe are also known from subfossil remains from Fiji, New Caledonia and probably other South Pacific islands. (Note there are various splits and lumps in use in [i]Coenocorypha[/i] taxonomy) This specimen was photographed at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand

Stewart Island snipe (Coenocorypha aucklandica iredalei)
Chlidonias, 21 Apr 2010
    • Chlidonias
      The last of the mainland snipe of New Zealand, the Stewart Island snipe only became extinct around 1964 after rats invaded its last refuge on Big South Cape Island off Stewart Island in the far south of the country. An attempt to transfer some individuals to a rat-free island failed as it proved impossible to keep them alive for the time required (South Island saddlebacks did survive the transfer, saving that subspecies, but bush wrens unfortunately failed to establish on the new island and also became extinct). The only other snipe known in the living state from the main islands of New Zealand were two individuals seen (one collected and deposited in the Auckland Museum) on Little Barrier Island near Auckland in about 1870. Subfossil remains show that snipe were widespread throughout the country before European arrival. They were probably wiped out by Maori hunting and introduced Polynesian rats. Other species still survive on the Chathams Islands and some of the subantarctic islands. Extinct Coenocorypha snipe are also known from subfossil remains from Fiji, New Caledonia and probably other South Pacific islands.

      (Note there are various splits and lumps in use in Coenocorypha taxonomy)

      This specimen was photographed at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand
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  • Category:
    New Zealand - Other
    Uploaded By:
    Chlidonias
    Date:
    21 Apr 2010
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