Henderson crake

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Henderson crake
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Porzana
Species: P. atra
Binomial name
Porzana atra
North, 1908

The Henderson crake or red-eyed crake (Porzana atra) is a species of flightless bird in the family Rallidae. It is endemic to Henderson Island in the southeast Pacific Ocean. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. The species is threatened by habitat loss. This bird is a monotypic species.

The population of this species is estimated to be 6,200 mature individuals, roughly equivalent to 9,300 individuals in total.

Habitat and ecology[edit]

The species is found in dense to open forest throughout the island plateau, both in forest dominated by Pisonia and Pisonia/Xylosma, and in Timonius thicket, also occurring in Pandanus-Thespesia-Argusia embayment forests and coconut groves on the beaches (Jones et al. 1995). It is omnivorous and appears to be an opportunistic feeder, taking advantage of seasonal increases in prey (Jones et al. 1995). It forages in the leaf-litter, gleaning items such as skink Emoia cyanura eggs from the undersides of fallen leaves, large nematodes, beetles, moths, spiders, dead caterpillars, land snails and small insects (Jones et al. 1995). The breeding season is long, extending from late July to mid February (double broods are not uncommon) and clutch-size is 2-3 (Jones et al. 1995). Helpers may provide extraparental care such as defending eggs and chicks from crabs and rats. Based on a small sample, adult annual survival is at least 43%, and reproductive success is a minimum of 0.95 chicks surviving to one month old per pair, per annum (Jones et al. 1995).

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