Garrulus lidthi


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Garrulus lidthi
Species Authority: Bonaparte, 1851
Common Name(s):
English Amami Jay, Lidth's Jay

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Ishida, K. & Kominami, Y.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Crosby, M., Peet, N., Taylor, J.
This jay has a small population which is suspected to have declined, possibly as a result of increased levels of predation. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable. If surveys reveal that the population is now increasing following predator control and forest regeneration, the species may warrant downlisting.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Garrulus lidthi is endemic to the islands of Amami-ooshima, Kakeroma-jima, Uke-jima, Edateku-jima, part of the Nansei Shoto Islands, Japan (BirdLife International 2001, K. Ishida in litt. 2012). Its population was estimated at c.5,800 birds in the 1970s, but it may have declined through to the 1990s. It is precautionarily treated as undergoing a continuing decline overall, although it may have begun to increase since 2000, owing to alien predator control and natural forest regeneration (Yukihiro Kominami in litt. 2007), and may now be stable (K. Ishida in litt. 2012). Some observations indicate a population increase in the northern Kasari peninsula of Amami-ooshima (M. Takashi per K. Ishida in litt. 2012).

Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population is estimated to number c.5,800 individuals (Nishidi 1974 in Brazil 1991), equivalent to c.3,900 mature individuals. It has been suggested that the population now exceeds 5,800 individuals (K. Ishida in litt. 2012); however, further research is required. The population is presently assumed to form one sub-population, but future genetic research (K. Ishida in litt. 2012) is expected to confirm whether this is the case.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs from sea-level into the hills, in subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest, coniferous forest, and in woodland around cultivation and human habitation, showing a significant preference for mature forest. It feeds on and caches the acorns of Castanopsis cuspidate, Quercus glauca and other oaks when they are available; if this food supply is exhausted birds will feed in agricultural fields (Yukihiro Kominami in litt. 2007). Sweet potato, insects, spiders, seeds, fruits, reptiles, including Okinawa pit-viper Trimeresurus flavoviridis, and birds are also included in its diet. It forages in trees and on the ground. Breeding takes place from late January or early February until May.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In some years, a high proportion of nests are predated by crows and mammals, and the small Asian mongoose Herpestes javanicus and snakes have been reported to prey on young birds and eggs. However, it is not known whether this apparently increased predation pressure will have a long-term effect on the population. The numbers of Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos on Amami-ooshima have recently increased, probably because of increased garbage disposal on the island. The effect of logging on its population is probably relatively small.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It is legally protected in Japan. Yuwandake on Amami-ooshima was established as a National Wildlife Protection Area, mainly for the conservation of this species and Amami Thrush Zoothera major. Several surveys and ecological studies have been completed. Introduced small Indian mongoose has been controlled within its range in recent years and as a result the species may now be stable or increasing. The increase in numbers of Large-billed Crows Corvus macrorhynchos on Amami-ooshima has been halted by improvements in refuse management (K. Ishida in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain an up-to-date population estimate. Conduct regular surveys to ascertain whether the population is in fact stable or recovering. Conserve and restore remaining areas of mature forest on Amami-ooshima. Provide nest-boxes in areas where there is a shortage of suitable natural nesting sites. Control alien predators on Amami-ooshima.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Garrulus lidthi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 01 September 2015.
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