Bombycilla japonica


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Bombycilla japonica
Species Authority: (Siebold, 1824)
Common Name(s):
English Japanese Waxwing

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., Gilroy, J., Taylor, J.
This scarce species is thought to have a moderately small global population size, and is threatened by both habitat loss and persecution for the wild bird trade. It is therefore currently considered Near Threatened, and should be carefully monitored.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Bombycilla japonica breeds only in the far east of Russia, where it has been found nesting in eastern Yakutia, Khabarovsk and Amur (BirdLife International 2001). It is generally uncommon, but locally common on the breeding grounds, and its total population may be moderately small. It is a non-breeding visitor to Japan, where it is uncommon and sporadic, North and South Korea, where it is irregular and uncommon, mainland China, where it is uncommon in the north and rare in the south, and Taiwan (China).

China; Japan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Russian Federation; Taiwan, Province of China
Hong Kong
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 generally uncommon, although locally common in suitable habitat (del Hoyo et al. 2007), while 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.50-10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-10,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It breeds in forested areas (favouring conifers), requiring fruiting trees to meet its dietary requirements. In winter, it occurs in deciduous and mixed forest but also more open habitats including parks and gardens if fruit trees are present. Also feeds on insects while breeding. The species breeds late in the boreal summer, laying eggs in June-July. It undertakes a relatively short migration, appearing to move in response to variable fruit crops.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It has presumably been affected by the logging and development of its forest habitat, particularly on the breeding grounds. Since 1998, 5,390 wild individuals have been imported into EU countries alone, the majority exported from China (UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database, January 2005), a level of trade that might be a significant threat to the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The species is listed in Annex D of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations and therefore EU import levels are monitored.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue to monitor levels of international trade in this species. Monitor rates of forest loss on the species's breeding grounds. Conduct ecological studies to determine habitat requirements throughout the annual cycle. Protect areas of suitable habitat and safeguard against logging and development.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Bombycilla japonica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 August 2015.
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