Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Galliformes Phasianidae

Scientific Name: Syrmaticus soemmerringii
Species Authority: (Temminck, 1830)
Common Name(s):
English Copper Pheasant
Syrmaticus soemmerringi soemmerringi Collar and Andrew (1988)
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Mahood, S., Taylor, J.
This beautiful pheasant has been subject to excessive sport hunting, which, although now regulated, may still be having a significant impact. Predation by feral cats and dogs, as well as habitat degradation, are other likely threats. It is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid decline and is consequently categorised as Near Threatened.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Near Threatened (NT)
2000 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1994 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1988 Near Threatened (NT)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Syrmaticus soemmerringii is found on the islands of Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu in Japan. It was once very common, but it appears to have declined substantially because of large-scale hunting and is now considered to be uncommon and difficult to find. During the 1970s, the number of birds shot by hunters declined rapidly from c.800,000 to c.300,000 per year, but appeared to stabilise at c.100,000 per year during the 1990s.

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 175000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1800
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as uncommon (Madge and McGowan 2002).

Trend Justification:  The species is suspected to be declining at a moderately rapid rate, probably owing to hunting, introduced predators and habitat loss.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: Unknown Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in coniferous, broadleaved and mixed forest from sea-level to 1,800 m.

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 5
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The initial, and perhaps the current, decline was due to hunting; however, the shooting of females has been illegal since 1976. In addition to the effects of hunting and habitat loss, feral cats and dogs may be causing a reduction in breeding success, and hybridisation (of the five subspecies) between wild and captive-reared stock may also be a problem.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to establish the status of all of the subspecies. Regularly monitor the population at selected sites. Regulate sport hunting to ensure that it is made sustainable. Protect large areas of forest in areas where it occurs. Prevent hybridisation by the regulation of releases. Research the effects of feral introduced predators.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Syrmaticus soemmerringii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22679340A37829435. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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