Guam Rail

About the Guam Rail

Also known as: Owston's Rail
The Guam Rail is a flightless species of rail endemic to the United States Pacific territory of Guam. The species was extirpated from the island in the 1980s and is extinct in the wild.

The Guam Rail is a medium-sized rail, recognized by its brownish plumage and thin black and white breast bars. It has a distinctive white eye stripe. Males and females are similar in appearance, although males average larger.
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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 02 February 2018
Scientific Name
Gallirallus owstoni
  • Gruiformes
  • Rallidae
  • Gallirallus
  • G. owstoni
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Extinct in the Wild
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
11 inches
6 to 12 ounces


The Guam Rail was once abundant on Guam, having evolved on the island without the existence significant predatory species. Following World War II, the brown tree snake was inadvertently introduced to Guam; by the 1960s the effect the snakes were having on native wildlife began to become apparent. The rails were not the only prey species. Nine of the eleven species of native forest birds of Guam (five of them endemic) have been extirpated. The Guam Rail exists in captivity, as does the similarly extinct-in-the-wild Guam Kingfisher. Both species are part of breeding programs, with the hope that they may be reintroduced to the wilds of Guam after the brown tree snake has been eradicated.

International Names

Chinese (汉语) 关岛秧鸡
Czech (Cesky) chřástal guamský
Danish (Dansk) Guamskovrikse
Dutch (Nederlands) Guamral
Finnish (Suomi) guaminluhtakana
French (Français) Râle de Guam
German (Deutsch) Guamralle
Italian (Italiano) Rallo di Guam
Japanese (日本語) グァムクイナ [guamukuina]
Norwegian (Norsk) Guamrikse
Polish (Polski) wodnik guamski
Portuguese (Português) Sanã-de-guam
Russian (русский язык) Гуамский пастушок
Spanish (Español) Rascón de Guam
Swedish (Svenska) guamrall
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