Purple Swamphens have a huge range, from Spain to South Africa to the
Philippines and Palau to Fiji and Samoa.
I'm quite sure no-one needed to introduce them to Lord Howe and
Norfolk Islands, all that was needed was for humans to clear forest
and create open grassland, and they were away!
And they, or an ancestral species and the modern form, must have
colonised New Zealand twice: the first colonisation resulted in the
Takahe, the second was recent, as NZ birds are sub-specifically
identical to Aus birds still.
2009/5/15 Roger Giller <>:
> I noticed the current "Bird of the Week" in Birdata is the Purple Swamphen.
> The following caught my attention:-
> Though most Purple Swamphens are sedentary, readily remaining at their chosen
> wetlands, a few are far more adventurous. This wanderlust has been
> illustrated by the establishment of populations of Swamphens on both Lord
> Howe and Norfolk Islands in the late 19th century. These birds originated
> from populations in eastern Australia or, perhaps, New Zealand, so this must
> have entailed flying vast distances over the open ocean -- no mean feat for
> such an ungainly flier.
> Does this mean that after being quite happy to stay in Australia and/or NZ
> for millions of years they suddenly decided to migrate to two isolated
> islands about 100 years after Europeans "settled" them.
> Surely it is far more likely that human intervention played some part in
> their arrival.
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