Galapagos Rail Laterallus spilonota

  • Order: Gruiformes
  • Family: Rallidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Evan Hill
Sections

Conservation

Conservation Status

Galapagos Rail has a small range, being restricted to a few islands, and its populations are in decline. Consequently its International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List status is assessed as Vulnerable (BirdLife International 2012).

Effects of human activity on populations

Galapagos Rails are vulnerable to habitat degradation from livestock. Heavy grazing by livestock can eliminate the dense fern undergrowth used by Galapagos Rails (Franklin et al. 1979). When goats (Capra) were introduced to Pinta Island for grazing in 1959, the animals cleared the humid zone of forbaceous undergrowth vegetation leaving only trees and shrubs (Weber 1971). Introduced pigs (Sus scrofa) also have a negative effect on rail populations. In contrast, after pigs, goats, and donkeys (Equus sp.) had been exterminated from Santiago between 1990-2000, rail populations increased (Donlan et al. 2007).

Recommended Citation

Hill, E. (2013). Galapagos Rail (Laterallus spilonota), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.galrai1.01