Ciconia boyciana


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ciconia boyciana
Species Authority: Swinhoe, 1873
Common Name(s):
English Oriental Stork, Oriental White Stork, Japanese White Stork
Spanish Cigüeña Blanca Coreana, Cigüeña Oriental

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Barter, M., Chan, S. & Li, Z.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Chan, S., Crosby, M., Peet, N., Taylor, J.
This stork is listed as Endangered because it has a very small population, which has undergone a rapid decline that is projected to continue in the future, based on current levels of deforestation, wetland reclamation for agriculture, overfishing, and disturbance.

2012 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Ciconia boyciana breeds in the Amur and Ussuri basins along the border of Russia and mainland China (BirdLife International 2001), and small numbers breed in the lower reaches of the Wuyuerhe river in Heilongjiang province (Wu Qingming in litt. 2012). It is a summer vagrant in eastern Mongolia. The main wintering grounds are in the lower Yangtze basin and southern China, as far south as Taiwan (China) and Hong Kong (China). Small numbers winter in North Korea, South Korea and Japan, and irregularly in the Philippines, north-eastern India, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The population is estimated at 3,000 individuals (Xinzhong 1999, Zhiyong 1999), with significant declines in breeding birds reported in Russia. The 2005 Yangtze waterbird survey recorded 1,194 individuals (M. Barter in litt. 2006).

China; Hong Kong; Japan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Russian Federation; Taiwan, Province of China
Bangladesh; India; Mongolia; Myanmar; Philippines
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population was estimated at 3,000 individuals by Xinzhong (1999) and Zhiyong (1999). The 2005 Yangtze waterbird survey recorded 1,194 individuals (M. Barter in litt. 2006). National population estimates include: c.100-10,000 breeding pairs, c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China; < c.50 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in Taiwan; < c.1,000 wintering individuals in Korea and < c.100 breeding pairs and < c.50 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009). Overall then, the population is likely to number 1,000 to 2,499 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It nests on tall trees and artificial structures such as electricity pylons. It feeds on fish and small animals in open, usually fresh water, wetlands, and occasionally coastal tidal flats.

Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Deforestation and drainage of wetlands for agricultural development are the main causes of decline in its breeding grounds. In Russia, spring fires threaten breeding sites and kill nest trees. Reclamation of wetlands, particularly in the Yangtze basin, has reduced the area of habitat for wintering birds and caused disturbance. Overfishing is a problem at many breeding and wintering sites in China. A satellite-tracking study indicated very high juvenile mortality on passage and in winter (Van den Bossche et al. 2001). Wintering birds move large distances between sites (Van den Bossche et al. 2001). Birds are hunted and collected for zoos, in Russia and China, despite legal protection. Dams on the Amur River and the forthcoming Three Gorges Dam in China are likely to have detrimental impacts upon the species, although they may affect this species less severely than others as they feed on fish and are therefore less susceptible to changes in water levels (M. Barter in litt. 2006, S. Chan in litt. 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I, CMS Appendix I. It is legally protected in Russia, Mongolia, China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea and Japan. Protected areas in its breeding and wintering grounds include Lake Bolon, Lake Khanka and Khingansky (Russia), and Sanjiang, Honghe, Zhalong, Changlindao, Yanwodao, Xingkai Hu, Horqin, Shengjin Hu, Poyang Hu (more than 1,600 birds wintering since 2002 [Ji and Wang 2007]), Dong Dongting Hu and Chen Hu (China). Reintroduction programmes are underway in South Korea and Japan. In 2008, there were said to be c.100 individuals in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, following the re-introduction of the species using chicks from Russia (Matsuda 2008). A number of conservation actions have been implemented locally to protect birds breeding near Daqing City, Heilongjiang, China (Zou et al. 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain an up-to-date estimate of the total population size. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation. Estimate levels of illegal capture. Establish protected areas on the Sanjiang plain, China. Expand the Khanka State Reserve, Russia, to include all existing and potential nest-sites and develop and extend current captive breeding efforts. Maintain tall trees for nesting and add artificial nest poles to potential breeding sites. Control overfishing in its breeding and wintering grounds. Control human activities at nest sites between 25th March and 20th July. Campaign against the use of fire by farmers in the breeding grounds. Prevent poisoning from pesticides and poaching. Re-establish viable breeding populations in South Korea and Japan. Work to restore habitat adjacent to already-occupied habitat, rather than creating new habitat patches (see Liu et al. 2008). Compensate farmers for favourable land management in the species's breeding grounds (Wu Qingming in litt. 2012).

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Ciconia boyciana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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