The Plain-flanked Rail is an extremely rare and poorly known rail endemic to Venezuela. It was historically known from, at most, nine localities on the Caribbean coast of Venezuela but recently this number has been reduced to four. Its main habitat is coastal mangroves but it is also known to occur in shallow saltwater or brackish lagoons with emergent vegetation. Very little is known about its biology but it is probably similar to the Clapper Rail to which it is very closely allied. There is also circumstantial evidence for poor flight as its rectrices and remiges appear to be quite soft, which may explain its restricted distribution.