Lonchura oryzivora 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Estrildidae

Scientific Name: Lonchura oryzivora (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Java Sparrow
French Padda de Java, Spermète de Java
Lonchura oryzivora ssp. oryzivora — Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993)
Lonchura oryzivora ssp. oryzivora — Christidis and Boles (1994)
Lonchura oryzivora ssp. oryzivora — Christidis and Boles (2008)
Padda oryzivora (Linnaeus, 1758)
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 14-15 cm. Contrastingly patterned, open-country finch. Pearl-grey, becoming pinkish on belly and whitish towards vent, with a black head and conspicuous white cheeks. Black rump and tail. Massive pink bill. Voice Song begins with bell-like single notes, accelerating into a continuous trilling and clucking interspersed with high-pitched and deeper notes, sometimes ending with a drawn-out whistle. Also short, hard tup, chirrups and trills.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2bde+3bde+4bde ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Brickle, N., Chng, S. & van Balen, B.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J., Martin, R, Symes, A.
The popularity of this finch as a cage-bird has resulted in intense trapping activity, which is inferred to be causing rapid declines in the population. Unless stringent regulations are enforced, these declines are likely to continue, and as such it is listed as Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is a native endemic of the islands of Java, Bali, and probably Madura, Indonesia, although it has been widely introduced, with feral populations now established in many parts of the world. It was formerly widespread and abundant in its native range, but numbers have crashed disastrously. It can now be difficult to find, particularly on Java (N. Brickle in litt. 2012); a recent survey looked at 64 former locations and located only 109 individuals at 17 sites (Muchtar and Nurwatha 2001). The majority of documented recent records derive from east Java and Bali. Feral populations (in Indonesia at least) have also apparently declined precipitously. Information from elsewhere is insufficient to estimate its status as a feral species, and all conservation efforts should focus on its original native range.

Countries occurrence:
Brunei Darussalam; Christmas Island; Fiji; Malaysia; Mexico; Philippines; Puerto Rico; Sri Lanka; United States (Hawaiian Is.)
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:147000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11-100Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population is estimated to number c.2,500-9,999 individuals (Population estimate derived from analysis of recent records and surveys detailed in BirdLife International 2001). This estimate equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals. The subpopulation structure is uncertain, but there is thought to be more than one subpopulation within the native range and the largest subpopulation is assumed to number more than 1,000 mature individuals until better information is available.

Trend Justification:  A rapid and on-going population decline is inferred on the basis of trapping pressure for the international cage-bird trade.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1500-7000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:Yes
No. of subpopulations:2-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:1-89

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is usually a lowland species, chiefly found below 500 m but occurring locally up to 1,500 m. It has been recorded in many habitats, including towns and villages (where it was formerly one of the most common species), cultivated land (particularly rice-growing areas), grassland, open woodland, tree savanna, beach forest and even mangroves. It is gregarious, especially outside the breeding season. Post-breeding flocks appear to make substantial short-distance movements in response to local food supplies.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):3
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Trapping for the domestic and international cage-bird trade has probably been occurring for centuries, peaking in the 1960s and 1970s, and is the main cause of the decline. Its flocking tendency, particularly at roost sites, renders it especially susceptible to mass trapping. Ironically, even feral populations, originally introduced through trade, have subsequently been decimated for the same reason. Historically, it was regarded as a rice crop-pest, and consequently persecuted. Hunting for local consumption, possibly increased use of pesticides, and competition with the ecologically similar Tree Sparrow Passer montanus, are additional threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation and Research Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. An embargo was placed on the capture quota for Java and Bali in 1995.  The species is bred widely in captivity but is heavily trapped, almost to extinction within the natural range.  It occurs in only a very few protected areas, with recent records from only four: Cikepuh Wildlife Reserve, Baluran and Meru Betiri National Parks on Java, and Bali Barat National Park on Bali.

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Investigate the relative importance of current threats (excessive trade, persecution, pesticides, competition). Promote strict enforcement of trade restrictions in wild birds, and devise means of meeting market demands from captive breeding. Develop and initiate programmes to protect remaining populations.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Population justification edited. Largest subpopulation estimate removed as it is unknown and the wide band previously used was wrongly triggering a higher Red List category. Minor edits to several text fields.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Lonchura oryzivora (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22719912A117235076. . Downloaded on 25 May 2018.
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