About the Ko'ko'
Guam Department of Agriculture - Division of Aquatic & Wildlife Resources
The ko’ko’ (Hypotenida owstoni; Guam rail) is endemic to the island of Guam, meaning, that it is only found naturally on the island. The ancestor of the ko’ko’ is believed to have flown to Guam thousands of years ago, and over time, existing with no predators, lost its ability to fly. In 1983, Department of Agriculture (DoAG), through its Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources (DAWR) came together with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to create a captive breeding program on Guam and in conjunction with zoos across the United States of America to prevent the species from going extinct.
Today, you can find ko’ko’ at DoAG’s DAWR Captive rearing facility, zoos across the U.S., and wild populations on Rota and Islan Dåno’ (Cocos Island). In 2020, the International Union for Conservation of Nature upgraded the red list status of the ko’ko’ from “extinct in the wild” to “critically endangered” giving hope that the ko’ko’ has a chance to return to greater numbers. The only other species given this list upgrade was the Califonia condor.
The ko’ko’ is an important animal in the CHamoru culture with a legend surroundings it and once being a food source for the people. Today, the ko’ko’ is a symbol of hope for the restoration of the health of Guam’s ecosystem.
For more information on how to get involved, contact your Guam Department of Agriculture’s Division of Aquatic & Wildlife Resources at (671) 735-0294 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guam Ko'ko' Race Weekend 2023
The Guam Ko'ko' Road Race is Guam's elite running event, so named to raise awareness of the plight of Guam's territorial bird, the Guam rail or commonly known as the Ko'ko'. A flightless bird endemic to Guam, the ko'ko' population was decimated to near extinction by the brown tree snake, pesticides and other introduced detractors. Efforts to save the ko'ko' from extinction are ongoing and public awareness and community involvement inspired by events such as the Guam Ko'ko' Road Race and the Guam Ko’ko’ Kids Fun Run have made a remarkable impact.
A signature visitor attraction, the race was first held in 2006 and participant numbers and prestige have grown with each succeeding year. The Guam Visitors Bureau is excited to reintroduce the event after several years!