A review of all available specimens and the discovery of many unpublished life history notes allows a much more complete picture of the morphology and behavior of the extinct Wake Island Rail (Gallirallus wakensis). The breeding season of the species may have been environmentally influenced but, under favorable conditions, there may have been two broods per year. Small groups of birds engaged in cooperative nesting and prolonged parental care and feeding of the young, probably in part to defend the eggs and young from hermit crabs (Coenobita) and rats (Rattus). The smallest species of its genus, the Wake Island Rail was able to co-exist with Pacific rats (Rattus exulans). Extinction of the rail occurred between 1942 and 1945 as a result of direct predation by thousands of starving Japanese troops and habitat destruction resulting from military alterations and aerial bombardment.
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