Syrmaticus soemmerringii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Syrmaticus soemmerringii
Species Authority: (Temminck, 1830)
Common Name(s):
English Copper Pheasant
Syrmaticus soemmerringi soemmerringi Collar and Andrew (1988)

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.

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.

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).
Population Trend: Decreasing

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

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. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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