Biodiversity / Food / Water

October 27, 2007


Breeding Project Begins for Endangered 'Okinawa Rail'

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity Government 

Japan's Ministry of the Environment has announced that it will undertake a breeding project for the Okinawa Rail, categorized as "critically endangered" (the most threatened species) on the Ministry's bird Red List. The Ministry has set a numeric target of two hundred for captive breeding by the end of FY2017.

The Okinawa Rail, called "Yambaru Kuina" in Japanese, was listed as a new species in 1981. Known as the only bird in Japan that cannot fly, the bird is endemic to the Yambaru area in the northern part of Okinawa Island. The estimated population of the bird was 1800 according to a survey conducted in 1985. However, the population has dramatically decreased in recent years due to the impact of invasive Java mongoose and habitat loss caused by land development.

For a breeding test this year, the Ministry will try to capture at least six breeding pairs out in the field, in addition to the four pairs under protection because of injury or sickness, and will expect to acquire ecological findings on the bird in captivity and develop breeding technology.

Posted: 2007/10/27 04:42:15 PM
Japanese version