Lord Howe Island Woodhen Click to enlarge image
Lord Howe Island Woodhen Image: Patrick Kavanagh
creative commons

Fast Facts

  • IUCN Conservation Status
    ENDANGERED (EN)
    NSW Conservation Status
    Endangered species
  • Classification
    Species
    sylvestris
    Genus
    Hypotaenidia
    Family
    Rallidae
    Order
    Gruiformes
    Class
    Aves
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    Body size up to 42 cm
  • View Bio Regions
    Bio Regions
    Lord Howe Province

During the mid-1960’s the woodhen was one of the most endangered birds in the world, but with a successful breeding program and other conservation programs it has been brought back from the brink of extinction.

Identification

The Lord Howe Island Woodhen is a large, olive brown, flightless bird. Its beak curves downwards and its eyes are red. Males are larger than females.

Habitat

Found in a range of habitats from low-lying palm forests to mountain-top mist forests.

Distribution

It is found only on Lord Howe Island.



Feeding and diet

Its diet consists of a variety of insects, worms snails and other invertebrates found on the forest floor.

Breeding behaviours

Adult woodhens pair for life and are very territorial. The birds breed between spring and early summer and can produce up to 4 eggs in one clutch. They nest on the ground under thick vegetation or in petrel burrows. The population has now reached the islands carrying capacity and is stable at about 220 birds.