The Galapagos Rail (Laterallus spilonotus) is endemic to the Galapagos Archipelago and little is known of its current status or population trends. In 2000, we surveyed 280 points in the largest population, on Santa Cruz Island, using call broadcast methods identical to those used in a baseline survey of the same area in 1986. The probability of detecting rails at sample points declined from 36% to 27% between surveys. An invasive woody plant, Cinchona succirubra, was not detected in 1986 yet was present at nearly three-fourths of survey points in 2000 and was avoided by rails in 2000. We recommend that future research and monitoring be conducted to determine the importance of Cinchona removal programs for maintaining this largest of populations of the Galapagos Rail.
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Vol. 74 • No. 2