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Zapata Rail - BirdForum Opus

Mustelirallus cerverai

Cyanolimnas cerverai


Very uniform with brownish upperside, most of the underside grayish and white undertail coverts. Legs and iris are red, bill is green with red spot at the base. Lack obvious spots and barring, which other rails and crakes in the area should show.


Map-Zapata Rail.png
Zapata Swamp of southwestern Cuba (endemic).

C. cerverai; year-round
Maps/Texts consulted1

This species is critically endangered (possibly extinct) with the blame placed on two introduced species:---a catfish and the Small Indian Mongoose (Urva auropunctata).


This is a monotypic species[1].


Freshwater sawgrass savannas with bushes.


Very little is known about this species except that it virtually (or perhaps literally) never flies. The voice has been described as reminding of a bouncing ball (Raffaele et al, Birds of the West Indies).

Conservation Concern

This species is endangered, possibly due to regular burning of the Zapata Swamp or introduced predators.


  1. Clements, J. F., P. C. Rasmussen, T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, A. Spencer, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2023. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2023. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Raffaele, Herbert et al. 2003. Birds of the West Indies. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003. ISBN 9780691113197
  3. Birdlife International news story including the threats to the survival of this species.

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1