Kauai palila

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Kauaʻi palila
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Genus: Loxioides
Species: L. kikuchi
Binomial name
Loxioides kikuchi
(James and Olson, 2006)

The Kauaʻi palila (Loxioides kikuchi) was a species of Hawaiian finch that was much larger than the palila (Loxioides bailleui). It was probably covered in feathers of red, gold, white, and black. It was described from subfossil remains discovered at the Makauwahi Cave on the south coast of Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands.


The Kauaʻi palila was one of many native Hawaiian birds that was affected by drastic changes in the environment due to farming. The dry forest was cut down, and irrigation from streams became widespread. The ecosystem became much wetter, and the remaining naio (Myoporum sandwicense) trees began to rot away. Soon Pila's palila was pushed to its limit, and became extinct, though it had lived for a long time, despite human competition and destruction of their habitat. Some[who?] speculate that the latest remaining specimen dates back to the 1800s. Today the Kauaʻi palila is known from a few specimens, found on the island of Kauaʻi. It is unknown if this bird ever had a name in the Hawaiian language, since it seems to have disappeared before Europeans arrived to apply a name.


  • James, Helen F, Olson, Storrs L (2006) "A new species of Hawaiian finch (Drepanidini: Loxioides) from Makauwahi Cave. " Auk 123(2): 335–344