The crake was described in 1986 from subfossil bones of late Holocene age found in caves on the island of Mangaia, in the southern Cook Islands of West Polynesia. The cause of its extinction is ascribed to a combination of predation and habitat alteration following human settlement of the island and the introduction of exotic mammals.
- Steadman, D. W. (1986). "Two new species of rails (Aves: Rallidae) from Mangaia, Southern Cook Islands.". Pacific Science 40 (1): 27–43.
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