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Guam rail

Tropics·Bird

This fast-running flightless bird was abundant on the island of Guam until it began disappearing in the early 1970s. By the mid 80’s the last 21 known Guam rails were brought into human care and placed in breeding programs.

The cause? The brown tree snake, which was accidentally introduced from Australia via imported cargo. First detected in the 1950s, the snake preys on native lizards and birds.

Nine of the 11 native species of Guam birds disappeared from the island in less than 20 years. Aggressive conservation efforts have saved this one from extinction so far.

  • Conservation StatusCritically Endangered
  • Life spanaround 7.6 years
  • Body size11 in.
  • Native habitat Forests, savannahs, shrublands, and grasslands of Guam
  • DietSeeds, flowers, insects, snails, reptiles
Golden-headed quetzal Baikal teal

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