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Myadestes lanaiensis lanaiensis - Olomao or Lanai Thrush (RMNH 110.026)
RMNH 110.026

Turdidae (Thrushes)

Olomao or Lanai Thrush Myadestes lanaiensis lanaiensis (Wilson, 1891)

  • RMNH 110.026: Lanai, Hawaii. Collector: Palmer. Exchanged with Tring Museum, 1899.

Each island had its own thrush
The various Hawaiian islands each had their own (sub)species of thrush. Of the five forms, only the Omao Myadestes obscurus of Hawai'i is still fairly common. The Amaui Myadestes woahensis from Oahu Island, the Kamao or Large Kauai Thrush Myadestes myadestinus and both races of the Olomao or Lanai Thrush, Myadestes lanaiensis lanaiensis and Myadestes lanaiensis rutha from Molokai, are extinct.

Museum specimens
Only a single museum specimen exists of the Omao from Oahu, which probably became extinct in the first half of the 19th century. During 1968-1973 the population of the Kamao was estimated at 337 birds, but the decline in its last stronghold, the Alakai Swamp, was dramatic and since 1993 the species has not been recorded. Because of its recent disappearance, the species is common in natural history collections.

The Lanai race of the Olomao survived well into the 20th century, but its population declined sharply in the 1920s, when Lanai City was built. Since 1933 the Olomao has not been seen. There are skins of this form in the museums in Cambridge (England), Edinburgh, Tring, Dresden, New York, Washington and Cambridge (Massachusettes). The Leiden specimen was donated in 1899 by the Natural History Museum in Tring.


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