New Zealand quail

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New Zealand quail
Coturnix novaezelandiae.jpg

Extinct  (1875) (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Subfamily: Perdicinae
Genus: Coturnix
Species: C. novaezelandiae
Binomial name
Coturnix novaezelandiae
Quoy & Gaimard, 1830

Coturnix novaezelandiae
Quoy & Gaimard, 1830

The New Zealand quail (Coturnix novaezelandiae), or koreke (the Māori name), has been extinct since 1875. The male and female were similar, except the female was lighter. The first scientist to describe it was Sir Joseph Banks when he visited New Zealand on James Cook's first voyage. Terrestrial and temperate, this species inhabited lowland tussock grassland and open fernlands.[2] The first specimen was collected in 1827 by Jean René Constant Quoy and Joseph Paul Gaimard on Dumont D'Urville's voyage. It has sometimes been considered conspecific with the Australian stubble quail, which would then be named Coturnix novaezelandiae pectoralis as it was only scientifically described after the New Zealand birds were.

Research was conducted between 2007 and 2009 into whether the quails on Tiritiri Matangi Island – which was spared the worst impact of introduced predators – might be a surviving population of this species, or koreke-brown quail (Coturnix ypsilophora) hybrids.[3] This two year genetic study showed instead that the quail on Tiritiri Matangi are Australian brown quail, Coturnix ypsilophora.[4] Sequences were derived for all quail species within the Australian and New Zealand Coturnix sp. complex. A neighbour-joining phylogenetic distance tree was constructed in PAUP4 with 1000 bootstrap replications to determine the strength of groupings. The sequences used for the tree were derived from 3 separate mitochondrial control region sequences. This tree analysis also showed a close phylogenetic relationship between the New Zealand quail Coturnix novaezelandiae and the Australian stubble quail Coturnix pectoralis, but confirmed that they are separate species.[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Coturnix novaezelandiae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ [1], Pappas, J. 2002. "Coturnix novaezelandiae", Animal Diversity Web.
  3. ^ NZ quail may not be extinct say scientists after Haurauki Gulf island discovery, Massey News, 24 March 2007.
  4. ^ Scientists nail quail mystery — Tiri quails found to be Aussie imports, Massey News, 23 October 2009.
  5. ^ Seabrook-Davison, M.; Huynen, L.; Lambert, D.M.; and Brunton D.H. (2009). Ancient DNA Resolves Identity and Phylogeny of New Zealand's Extinct and Living Quail (Coturnix sp.). PLoS ONE 4(7), e6400. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006400.

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