email a friend
printable version
Brown-banded Rail Lewinia mirifica
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is listed as Data Deficient because there are few recent records and almost nothing known of its distribution, population, ecology and threats, thus an assessment of its threat status is currently not possible.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Taxonomic note
Lewinia pectoralis and L. mirifica, cross-regional species, and L. muelleri, a New Zealand endemic (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) are retained as separate species contra Turbott (1990) who include mirifica and

Lewinia mirificus Collar et al. (1994), Lewinia mirificus BirdLife International (2000), Lewinia mirificus BirdLife International (2004), Lewinia mirificus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Rallus mirificus Collar and Andrew (1988)

Distribution and population
Lewinia mirificus is known from Luzon and Samar in the Philippines, to which it is probably endemic, although as breeding there has not been confirmed, this remains to be proven (Collar et al. 1999). The vast majority of records derive from the migration funnel, and bird-catching site, of Dalton Pass on Luzon, where over 200 were recorded between 1965 and 1970, suggesting that it may persist in reasonable numbers, and that it is migratory. In October 2009, 10 individuals were recorded as they were caught by bird-trappers (Allen 2010). Although breeding and non-breeding areas are uncertain, these records infer movements either between the Cagayan valley and Luzon's central plain, or between the Cordillera Central and the Sierra Madre mountains; if the former is true, the records from south Luzon and Samar may relate to overshooting migrants. Recently an individual was observed in degraded cloudforest at 2,240 m on Mount Data, Luzon in January 2001. The bird was heard to call (a frog-like accelerating series of clicking notes), and the same call was heard in cloudforest at 1,100 m on Mayon Volcano in Southern Luzon (Dinets 2001).

Trend justification
The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the extent of threats to the species.

Although it has been speculated that it has strict habitat requirements, if these are similar to its congener (and possibly conspecific) Lewin's Rail L. pectoralis, it may prove to be rather cosmopolitan in its preferences, as the few documented details (cloudforest, near pine forest, and in a small undisturbed riverside swamp), from 550-2,250 m, imply.

The only known threat is hunting (evidenced at Dalton Pass), although the impact of this on its population cannot currently be gauged.

Conservation Actions Underway
None are known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Prioritise fieldwork to clarify the distribution and habitat requirements of the species and to locate viable populations at sites where it might be effectively protected.

Allen, D. 2010. Brown-banded Rail Lewinia mirifica at Dalton Pass, Philippines. BirdingASIA 13: 43-48.

Collar, N. J.; Mallari, N. A. D.; Tabaranza, B. R. J. 1999. Threatened birds of the Philippines: the Haribon Foundation/BirdLife International Red Data Book. Bookmark, Makati City.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Dinets, V. 2001. Ornithological records from Luzon during January-February 2001, including a description of the voice of Luzon Rail Lewinia mirificus. Oriental Bird Club Bulletin 34: 40-41.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Lowen, J., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Lewinia mirifica. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Data Deficient
Family Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, Coots)
Species name author (Parkes & Amadon, 1959)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 118,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species