South Island saddleback

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South Island saddleback
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Infraorder: Passerida
Family: Callaeidae
Genus: Philesturnus
Species: P. carunculatus
Binomial name
Philesturnus carunculatus
(Gmelin, 1789)
Si saddleback map.svg
     Islands and sanctuaries in the South Island where South Island saddlebacks are located

Creadion carunculatus
Philesturnus carunculatus carunculatus

The South Island saddleback or Tīeke (Philesturnus carunculatus) is a forest bird in the New Zealand wattlebird family which is endemic to the South Island of New Zealand. Both the North Island saddleback and this species were formerly considered conspecific. The Department of Conservation (DOC) currently has the South Island saddleback listed as At Risk--Declining.

Distribution and habitat

During the early 19th century, South Island saddlebacks were widely distributed throughout the South and Stewart Islands. Late 19th century, the species faced rapid decline, nearing extinction due to introduced predators and becoming confined to the South Cape Islands. In 1962, ship rats were introduced to Big South Cape Island, causing the extinction of the greater short-tailed bat, Stewart Island snipe and the Stead's bush wren. In addition, this caused the local extinction of the South Island saddleback.[2]

In early 1964, the successful translocation of several birds by the New Zealand Wildlife Service from Whatapuke Island to Hen Island commenced a further transfer of birds to other predator-free areas. The current population of over 700 birds, spread over eleven small islands, are of those descended from the 36 birds translocated from Big South Cape Island.[3] A 1994 threatened species recovery plan was established by the Department of Conservation with the aims of maintaining wild populations, adopting quarantine procedures, and removing predators from islands potentially suitable for translocating members of the species.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Philesturnus carunculatus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T103730490A112237914. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T103730490A94148604.en. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  2. ^
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External links

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