Okinawa woodpecker

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Okinawa woodpecker
PicusNoguchiiKeulemans.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Sapheopipo
Hargitt, 1890
Species: S. noguchii
Binomial name
Sapheopipo noguchii
(Seebohm, 1887)
Dendrocopos noguchii distr.png
     Resident
Synonyms

Dendrocopos noguchii[2]

The Okinawa woodpecker (Sapheopipo noguchii), (ノグチゲラ Noguchigera?) is a woodpecker endemic to the island of Okinawa in Japan. It is the only member of the genus Sapheopipo.

Other common names for this species are Noguchi's woodpecker, Okinawan woodpecker, Pryer's woodpecker and Ryu Kyu woodpecker.[3]

This is a medium-sized (31 cm), dark woodpecker. It is dark brown in color with red-tipped feathers. It has white spots on the primaries. The head is a paler brown, with a dark red crown on the male and a blackish-brown one on the female. The call is a sharp whit call and a variable kyu-kyu kup kup kup or kyu kyu kup.

Their breeding habitat is subtropical, evergreen broad-leaved forest that is at least 30 years old, with tall trees of more than 20 cm in diameter. Nesting is between late February and May.

This woodpecker is critically endangered. It has a single tiny, declining population which is threatened by habitat loss of mature forest due to logging, dam construction, agriculture, military and golf course developments. A major problem now is that one of their main habitats is being destroyed. The current population is estimated at less than 600. This species is suspected to be declining at a rate of 10-19% over ten years, as a result of ongoing clearance of old-growth forests.

This woodpecker is legally protected in Japan. It occurs in Yonaha-dake Prefecture Protection Area and small protected areas on Mount Ibu and Mount Nishime and conservation organisations have purchased sites where it occurs, but it is mainly found in the Okinawa Prefecture. In 1996, Yambaru was designated as a national park.

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