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GALLERIES > BIRDS > GRUIFORMES > RALLIDAE > ASCENSION CRAKE [Atlantisia elpenor]


Ascension Crake Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Ascension Flightless Crake (Mundia elpenor) is a bird that previously lived in Africa, before it became extinct. It was first proclaimed to be extinct by Groombridge in 1994, and has been confirmed by BirdLife International in 2000 and 2004. It is a member of the Rallidae family.

The bird was endemic to Ascension Island from where it was proved to exist by numerous bones, and Peter Mundy's description to it by a sketch made in 1656. It most likely lived in the near-desert locations in the island and primarily ate Sooty Tern (Sterna fuscata) eggs. It is probable that it became extinct after rats became introduced to the island in the 18th century, but may have still lived until the introduction of cats in 1815.

Previously regarded by Storrs Olson as relative of Atlantisia rogersi younger analysis (Ashmole et al., 2003) had shown that the differences between the Ascension Flightless Crake and Inaccessible Island Rail are stronger than believed. So the new genus Mundia (as reference for the discoverer Peter Mundy) was created in 2003.





                                     



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