Lanai Hookbill

Scientific Name
Dysmorodrepanis munroi
Family
Conservation Status
Extinct (EX)
Sub-Family
Hawaiian honeycreeper|Drepanididae

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Wikipedia Article

The Lānai Hookbill (Dysmorodrepanis munroi) is an extinct species of finch in the Hawaiian honeycreeper subfamily, Drepanidinae. It was endemic to the island of Lānai in Hawaii, and became extinct due to habitat loss. It was last seen in the Kaiholena Valley and Waiakeakua area of the island. G.C. Munro collected a single specimen of this species on in 1913, which is housed in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu. No specimens have been seen since 1918.
Adults are light gray with a tinge of green, the underparts were paler and almost white. A light band ran along the wing and there was a light mark over the eye. The mandibles curved towards each other and so the tip of the lower mandible was the only part that touched the upper, therefore leaving a gap in the middle. The bird is about , and the weight is unknown.
It is believed that the Lānai Hookbill inhabited montane dry forests on Lānai dominated by akoko (Euphorbia spp.) and ōpuhe (Urera glabra), as the bird was collected in this type of habitat.
The species has been seen in the wild only a few times ever, and all between 1912 and 1918 by Munro. Some naturalists consider that the Lānai Hookbill to be a deformed individual of another species and because so few were ever seen (probably only three) there is some doubt as to the validity of these records. It was thought by some to be the same species as the Ōū (Psittirostra psittacea); however, a recent study by James et al., 1989 has shown that it is a valid species. Its preferred food is unknown because the birds were never seen feeding, though dissection of the stomach showed it had fed on native berries from the island. It has been speculated based on its uniquely shaped bill and relatively weak jaw muscles that it may have been a specialist feeder on snails. The extinction of local snails through human intervention could then have led to the reduction in numbers and ultimately, the extinction of this species. Munro first saw the bird on February 22, 1913, and collected the single specimen in the Kaiholena Valley of Lānai. Nearly everything known about the bird is in his book The Birds of Hawaii (1960). The only existing specimen (Munro's) is in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu. After 1913, Munro saw the bird on March 16, 1916, in the Kaiholena Valley, and on August 12, 1918, at Waiakeakua. The 1918 sighting was the last, by that time most of the native akoko (Euphorbia spp.)-ōpuhe (Urera glabra) dry forests on Lānai had been replaced by pineapple plantations.