Gallirallus owstoni is endemic to Guam (to USA), where it was widely distributed until 1968 when, along with most other indigenous species, it started to decline4. In 1981, the population was estimated at c.2,000, in 1983 it was reckoned to number fewer than 100 and, by 1987, it was extirpated from the wild9. It survives in captive-breeding facilities in Guam and in 14 zoos in the USA (c.180 birds in total)1. It was reintroduced to Guam in 1998 but a rapid population decline was observed during 2000-2002 and no rails have been detected since, either in the predator free zone (Area 50, 24 hectares) or the snake reduced open landscape10. From 1989-2007 853 captive reared rails were released on nearby Rota, Northern Mariana Islands (to USA), though this has experienced mixed success, with some populations rapidly declining to extinction, there is currently an expanding population of 40-60 individuals in the Duge area and another of 20 birds at Apanon10.
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