Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The Izu thrush, which is observed solitary or in small flocks of two or three birds (3), breeds primarily between March and June, when it lays between two and five eggs (2). The nest, situated on a low branch or occasionally on the ground, is made of grass and leaves, stuck together with mud and covered with moss (2). The Izu thrush forages in the forest canopy, on the ground, in leaf litter, and in more open areas adjacent to woodland. It feeds on fruits, seeds and invertebrates, particularly caterpillars, and brings earthworms, insects and centipedes to the nestlings (2).
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Description

The Izu thrush, named after the group of Japanese islands on which it occurs, has richly coloured plumage; brownish-russet on the upperparts and orange-red on the breast and flanks. The wings and tail are blackish, and the centre of the belly is white. A yellowish bill and narrow yellow ring around the eye contrasts with the male's black head and upper breast. The female has a dark brown head and white throat, streaked with black. Juveniles have brown plumage with buff streaking on the upperparts (2).
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Distribution

Range Description

Turdus celaenops is endemic to Japan. The majority of the population is resident on the Izu Islands between Oshima and Aogashima, but a few birds move to adjacent parts of Honshu and the Shikoku Islands during winter. There are also small numbers on the islands of Yaku-shima and Tokara in the northern Nansei Shoto Islands. Given that the total area of the Izu Islands is only c.300 km2, it is unlikely that the population ever exceeded more than a few thousand individuals and it is now declining rapidly.

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Range

Izu Islands and Yakushima (Ryukyu Islands).

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Range

Endemic to Japan, where it occurs on the Izu Islands, and on the northern Nansei Shoto (or Ryukyu) Islands (3).
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Physical Description

Type Information

Type for Turdus celaenops Stejneger
Catalog Number: USNM 111665
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Birds
Sex/Stage: Male; Adult
Preparation: Skin: Whole
Collector(s): M. Namiye
Year Collected: 1887
Locality: Miyake Island, Izu Islands, Asia
  • Type: Stejneger. August 26, 1887. Science. 10: 108.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits deciduous woodlands with a well developed canopy and sparse shrub layer, avoiding understoreys with bamboo. On Yaku-shima, it occurs in mixed juniper-rhododendron forest. It also feeds outside forest along roadsides, in ploughed fields and undisturbed gardens, foraging for fruit, seeds and, in summer, mainly invertebrates.


Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Occurs in mature, deciduous woodland, preferably with a well-developed canopy and a sparse shrub layer. It can also be found in adjacent open areas such as ploughed farmland, gardens and roadsides, where it feeds (2).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Turdus celaenops

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2ce+3ce+4ce;C1

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s
Yamamoto, Y.

Justification
This thrush has a small, rapidly declining population as a result of high levels of nest-predation by introduced species, probably compounded by habitat loss. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

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Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).
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Population

Population
The global population is estimated to be in the band c.2,500-9,999 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2001), equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals. The population in Japan has been estimated at c.100-10,000 breeding pairs (Brazil 2009).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Nest-predation by Siberian weasels Mustela sibirica, Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos and domestic cats is the main threat. Its population on Miyake-jima declined rapidly following the introduction of Siberian weasels in the 1970s. The population of Large-billed Crow on Mikake-jima and the other Izu Islands has increased as a result of the dumping of raw garbage. During a survey on Miyake-jima in 1992, a total of 22 nests were found containing eggs, all of which hatched, but all nestlings were subsequently predated. The effects of predation are likely to have been compounded by habitat loss, associated with timber production, tourist developments and road construction. Volcanic eruptions on Miyake-jima in 2000 had a negative effect on the population on that island (Y. Yamamoto in litt. 2012).

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The Siberian weasel, Mustela sibirica, which was introduced onto Miyake-jima Island, preys on eggs and chicks in the nest, and appears to have caused a significant decline in the number of Izu thrushes. Nest predation by large-billed crows, Corvus macrorhynchos, has also increased due to raw garbage becoming a more familiar sight in the Izu Islands, and domestic cats also prey on nests and fledglings. The impact of predation has been compounded by the ubiquitous threat of habitat loss. On many of the Izu Islands, natural forest has been destroyed for timber production, road construction and tourism development (3) (4). An additional, natural threat is volcanic eruptions on Miyake-jima. An eruption in 2000 covered the island in a fine layer of ash, killing many forest-dwelling insects. This does not appear to have affected the Izu thrush to the same extent as other birds on the island, but the emission of deadly gases from the volcano crater could still prove to have a damaging effect on Izu thrush populations (3).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Conservation Actions Underway
It is legally protected in Japan. The entire Izu Archipelago has been designated as a national park and several important sites as Special Protected Areas. There is a small sanctuary on Miyake-jima. A recent awareness campaign has been carried out (Y. Yamamoto in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Research its ecology, especially the migratory movements of the Tokara Islands population. Maintain and enhance areas of suitable forest and woodland on the Izu Islands. Plan new development on the Izu Islands to minimise their negative effects on the habitats of this and other endemic species. Strengthen the infrastructure and human resources of the national park on the Izu Islands to improve enforcement of habitat conservation measures. Control predators, particularly Siberian weasel and Large-billed Crow. Instigate new controls on the dumping of garbage to reduce the numbers of Large-billed Crow.

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Conservation

The Izu thrush is on the Red List of Japan, which means that its conservation importance is recognised (3). The Izu Islands lie within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park (5), and several places have been designated as “special protected areas”, but there are no park rangers, and the destruction and alteration of habitat continues on many of the islands (4). The maintenance of suitable forest habitat is important for the conservation of the Izu thrush, and thus enforcement of the National Park is essential. This is required in addition to the control of predators, for example, by introducing new controls on the dumping of garbage to reduce the numbers of large-billed crows (3).
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Wikipedia

Izu Thrush

The Izu thrush (Turdus celaenops), also known as the Izu Islands thrush, is a thrush native to the Izu and Ryukyu Islands of Japan, in particular, Hachijojima, Mikurajima, and Miyakejima in the former chain, and Yakushima and the Tokara Islands in the latter. This species is absent from the main islands of Japan, and due to its limited range, is listed in the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable.

Reaching a length of approximately 23 cm, the Izu thrush has a distinctive dark plumage, with a black head and tail contrasting with yellow eye-ring and bill, chestnut brown wings, and a rust-red belly. This color pattern often elicits comparisons to the American robin.

References[edit]

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