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Stephens Island Wren Traversia lyalli
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This species is known from Stephens Island, New Zealand, but became Extinct in 1895. A combination of development on the island and predation by introduced cats is thought to have driven its decline.

Taxonomic source(s)
Brooks, T. 2000. Extinct species. In: BirdLife International (ed.), Threatened birds of the world, pp. 701-708. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge, U.K.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Xenicus lyalli Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)

Distribution and population
Traversia lyalli is only known from recent times from Stephens Island, New Zealand (Greenway 1967), although it is common in fossil deposits from both of the main islands (Worthy and Holdaway 1994). It was extinct by November 1895, but it had survived into that year, with Travers finding a cat-caught specimen in February (Tennyson and Martinson 2006).

The species was flightless and restricted to the rocky ground (Millener 1989).

Construction of a lighthouse on Stephens Island in 1894 led to the clearance of most of the island's forest, with predation by the lighthouse keeper's cat delivering the species's coup-de-grace (Tyrberg & Milberg 1991).

Greenway, J. C. 1967. Extinct and vanishing birds of the world. Dover Publications, New York.

Millener, P. R. 1989. The one flightless passerine: the Stephen Island Wren (Traversia lyalli: Acanthisittidae). Notornis 36: 280-284.

Tennyson, A. J. D.; Martinson, P. 2006. Extinct Birds of New Zealand. Te Papa Press, Wellington.

Tyrberg, T.; Milberg, P. 1991. Xenicus lyalli: utrotad av Polynesiernas råta och fyrvaktarens katt. Vår Fågelvärld 50: 15-18.

Worthy, T. H.; Holdaway, R. N. 1994. Scraps from an owl's table---predator activity as a significant taphonomic process newly recognised from New Zealand Quaternary deposits. Alcheringa 18: 229-245.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

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Text account compilers
Brooks, T., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Traversia lyalli. 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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Stephens Island wren (Traversia lyalli) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Extinct
Family Acanthisittidae (New Zealand wrens)
Species name author (Rothschild, 1894)
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species