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Pezohaps solitaria - Rodrigues Solitaire
Solitaire de Rodrigues - Soliter
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Skeleton exhibited at the Mauritian Institute
Description

Scientific Name

Pezohaps solitaria

English Name

Rodrigues Solitaire

Local English Name

 

French Name

Solitaire

Local French Name

 

Creole Name

Soliter

Habitat

Terrestrial

Geographic Range

Rodrigues

Status

Last observed ca. 1791

First Description

Gmelin, 1789

 
Classification

Kingdom
Phylum
Sub phylum
Class
Sub class
Super order
Order
Family
Sub-Family
Genus
Species

Animalia
Chordata
Vertebrata
Aves


Columbiformes
Rallidae

Pezohaps
Pezohaps solitaria

/Images/pixel.gif" . . . .

Rodrigues Solitaire Pezophaps solitaria was endemic to Rodrigues, Mauritius, from where it is known from numerous historical accounts, with those of Leguat in 1708 providing particularly rich detail, and many bones. Birds were heavily hunted and predated by introduced cats, and were very rare by 1755 when Cossigny tried to obtain one without success, but was told that the species did still survive. It was definitely extinct by the 1760s.

The Rodriguez Solitaire is known from a large number of bones found on the island of Rodriguez in the Indian Ocean. No mounted specimens of the Rodriguez Solitaire exist.

Most of our knowledge of its appearance and behaviour is derived from the account of the French Huguenot François Leguet, who was marooned on the island between 1691 and 1693.

Amongst other peculiarities, Leguat described the birds' odd nesting behaviour. For example, a pair would not allow any other Rodriguez Solitaire near the nest. If intruders did appear, males would drive off rival males, while females dealt with females. Whenever a male was confronted with a female intruder it called its partner to chase the stranger off.

 Top

The Huguenots also praised the birds for their flavour. The young, who were caught in the summer, were considered a particular delicacy. They were easy to catch, due to their inability to fly.

Leguat's account was written around 1690. From an anonymous author we know the Rodriguez Solitaire was still quite common in 1730. The birds were heavily hunted by humans and predated by introduced cats. The Rodriguez Solitaire was very rare by 1755, when Cossigny tried to obtain one without success, but was told that the species did still survive. When a French research vessel visited the island in 1761, it also did not find any Rodrigues Solitaires, even though inhabitants claimed that some were still here. If the species still survived in 1761, it probably became extinct shortly after.

The closest relatives of the Rodriguez Solitaire are the Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) and the Réunion Solitaire (Raphus solitarius).

. . .
. Extinct Birds

Index
Dodo
Blue Pigeon
Broad-billed Parrot
Grey Parrot
Mascarene Coot
Mauritian Duck
Mauritius Owl
Mascarene Swan
Mauritius Night Heron
Red Rail
Bourbon Crested Starling

Rodrigues Solitaire
Rodrigues Night Heron
Rodrigues Little Owl
Rodrigues Owl
Newton's Parakeet
Rodrigues Parrot
Rodrigues Pigeon
Rodrigues Rail
Rodrigues Starling


 
Bones of Rodriguez Solitaire.
Solitaire bones
. .
. .
. References
 

Fuller, E.
Extinct Birds of the World
QL676.8.F85 1987 ISBN 0-8160-1833-2 p.126

Greenway, J. C.
Extinct and Vanishing Birds of the World
QL676.7.G7 1967 p.124

King, W.
Endangered Birds of the World;
The ICBP Bird Red Data Book
QL676.7.K56 1981 ISBN 0-87474-584-5 Preamble 8

Nilsson, G.
The Endangered Species Handbook
QL82.N55 1983 ISBN 0-938-424-09-7 p.12

 

. . .
. Links

IUCN Red List
Birdlife International
The Mauritius Institute
Finalmente giustizia per il dodo
Estinto come un dodo
Dodo and Solitaires...

 

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