Nature conservation

Threatened species

Lord Howe Woodhen - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Hypotaenidia sylvestris
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Profile last updated: 25 Jan 2019


Medium-sized flightless bird. Colour is a dull olive brown with paler markings on face. The bill is pinkish-grey, slender and down-curved and around same length as head. Legs are thick and pinkish-grey. Birds mainly forage on forest floor for earthworms, molluscs and other invertebrates.


Lives only on Lord Howe Island. Populations are found throughout the main Island except for the northern hills area.

Habitat and ecology

  • Mountain and lowland rainforest and also Palm and Pandanus forest, particularly Kentia Palm forest on basaltic soils.
  • Gardens around houses in Settlement Area where birds are sometimes fed by humans.
  • Lord Howe Woodhens mainly eat worms, insect larvae, gastropods and crustaceans.
  • Woodhens mate during late spring-early summer. The incubation period is 20–23 days, a number of clutches may be laid each year.
  • Adult Woodhens pair for life and each pair defends a territory of about 3 hectares. The young birds are driven out of the natal territory by their parents, and only become established and active in the population if they can find a new territory or take over an existing one

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
OceanSouth Pacific Ocean Known None
Pacific Subtropical IslandsLord Howe Island Known None