Okinawa woodpecker

The Okinawa woodpecker (Dendrocopos noguchii), (ノグチゲラ Noguchigera) is a woodpecker endemic to the Okinawa Prefecture of Japan. It was previously placed in the monotypic genus Sapheopipo.[2]

Other common names for this species are Noguchi's woodpecker, Okinawan woodpecker, Pryer's woodpecker and Ryukyu woodpecker.[3] Some taxonomic authorities place this species in the monotypic genus Sapheopipo.

Okinawa woodpecker
Sapheopipo noguchii - National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo - DSC06804
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Dendrocopos
D. noguchii
Binomial name
Dendrocopos noguchii
(Seebohm, 1887)
Dendrocopos noguchii distr

Sapheopipo noguchii


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.

Threats to the species

The habitat of the Okinawa woodpecker is threatened by the construction of six new American helipads[4][5] in the Yanbaru forest of Takae. The lives of the birds themselves are also put at risk by the flights of Ospreys over the island.[6]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Dendrocopos noguchii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Winkler, Hans; Kotaka, Nobuhiko; Gamauf, Anita; Nittinger, Franziska; Haring, Elisabeth (2005). "On the phylogenetic position of the Okinawa woodpecker (Sapheopipo noguchii)". Journal of Ornithology. 146 (2): 103–110. doi:10.1007/s10336-004-0063-4.
  3. ^ "Okinawa Woodpecker". Avibase.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links


Dendrocopos is a widespread genus of woodpeckers from Asia and Europe and Northern Africa. The species range from the Philippines to the British Isles.

The genus was introduced by the German naturalist Carl Ludwig Koch in 1816. The name Dendrocopus is a combination of the Greek words dendron , meaning "tree" and kopos, "striking ". The type species was specified as the great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) by the Scottish ornithologist Edward Hargitt in 1890 in his catalogue of woodpeckers in the collection of the British Museum.The genus Dendrocopos at one time contained around 25 species. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the pied woodpeckers published in 2015 found that Dendrocopos was polyphyletic. In the rearranged genera the number of species in Dendrocopos was reduced to 12 (or 13) as listed below.


The dugong (; Dugong dugon) is a medium-sized marine mammal. It is one of four living species of the order Sirenia, which also includes three species of manatees. It is the only living representative of the once-diverse family Dugongidae; its closest modern relative, Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas), was hunted to extinction in the 18th century. The dugong is the only strictly herbivorous marine mammal.

The dugong is the only sirenian in its range, which spans the waters of some 40 countries and territories throughout the Indo-West Pacific. The dugong is largely dependent on seagrass communities for subsistence and is thus restricted to the coastal habitats which support seagrass meadows, with the largest dugong concentrations typically occurring in wide, shallow, protected areas such as bays, mangrove channels, the waters of large inshore islands and inter-reefal waters. The northern waters of Australia between Shark Bay and Moreton Bay are believed to be the dugong's contemporary stronghold.

Like all modern sirenians, the dugong has a fusiform body with no dorsal fin or hind limbs. The forelimbs or flippers are paddle-like. The dugong is easily distinguished from the manatees by its fluked, dolphin-like tail, but also possesses a unique skull and teeth. Its snout is sharply downturned, an adaptation for feeding in benthic seagrass communities. The molar teeth are simple and peg-like unlike the more elaborate molar dentition of manatees.

The dugong has been hunted for thousands of years for its meat and oil. Traditional hunting still has great cultural significance in several countries in its modern range, particularly northern Australia and the Pacific Islands. The dugong's current distribution is fragmented, and many populations are believed to be close to extinction. The IUCN lists the dugong as a species vulnerable to extinction, while the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species limits or bans the trade of derived products. Despite being legally protected in many countries, the main causes of population decline remain anthropogenic and include fishing-related fatalities, habitat degradation and hunting. With its long lifespan of 70 years or more, and slow rate of reproduction, the dugong is especially vulnerable to extinction.

Kunigami, Okinawa

Kunigami (国頭村, Kunigami-son, Kunigami: Kunzan, Okinawan: Kunjan) is a village in Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It occupies the north tip of Okinawa Island, with the East China Sea to the west, Pacific Ocean to the east, and villages of Higashi and Ōgimi to the south.As of 2015, the village has a population of 4,908 and a population density of 25.20 persons per km2. The total area is 194.80 km2.

Lester L. Short

Lester Leroy Short (born May 29, 1933) is an American ornithologist. His main research field is the order Piciformes.

List of Natural Monuments of Japan (Okinawa)

This list is of the Natural Monuments of Japan within the Prefecture of Okinawa.

List of Piciformes by population

This is a list of Piciformes species by global population. While numbers are estimates, they have been made by the experts in their fields. For more information on how these estimates were ascertained, see Wikipedia's articles on population biology and population ecology.

This list is not comprehensive, as not all Piciformes have had their numbers quantified.

List of birds of Japan

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Japan. The avifauna of Japan include a total of 722 species, of which 16 are endemic, and 39 have been introduced by humans.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags highlight several categories of occurrence other than regular migrants and non-endemic residents.

(A) Accidental – a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Japan (also called a vagrant)

(E) Endemic – a species endemic to Japan

(I) Introduced – a species introduced to Japan as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

List of critically endangered birds

As of May 2019, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 224 critically endangered avian species, including 18 which are tagged as possibly extinct or possibly extinct in the wild. 2.1% of all evaluated avian species are listed as critically endangered.

No subpopulations of birds have been evaluated by the IUCN.

Additionally 61 avian species (0.59% of those evaluated) are listed as data deficient, meaning there is insufficient information for a full assessment of conservation status. As these species typically have small distributions and/or populations, they are intrinsically likely to be threatened, according to the IUCN. While the category of data deficient indicates that no assessment of extinction risk has been made for the taxa, the IUCN notes that it may be appropriate to give them "the same degree of attention as threatened taxa, at least until their status can be assessed."This is a complete list of critically endangered avian species evaluated by the IUCN. Species considered possibly extinct by the IUCN are marked as such. Where possible common names for taxa are given while links point to the scientific name used by the IUCN.

List of endemic birds of Japan

This article is one of a series providing information about endemism among birds in the world's various zoogeographic zones. For an overview of this subject see Endemism in birds.

List of woodpecker species

The International Ornithological Congress (IOC) recognizes these 236 species of woodpeckers which make up the family picidae. They are distributed among 35 genera, six of which have only one species. The family's taxonomy is still unsettled; the Clements taxonomy lists 231 species and Handbook of the Birds of the World lists 255.

This list is presented according to the IOC taxonomic sequence and can also be sorted alphabetically by common name and binomial.


Noguchi (野口 lit. "field entrance") is a Japanese surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Akiyo Noguchi (野口啓代), Japanese climber who won multiple bouldering world cups

Fujio Noguchi (野口富士男), novelist

Goro Noguchi (野口五郎), singer and actor

Haruchika Noguchi (野口晴哉), the founder of Seitai

Hideyo Noguchi (野口英世), bacteriologist, discoverer of the agent of syphilis

Hiroshi Noguchi (野口裕司), football player

Isamu Noguchi (野口勇), Japanese-American sculptor

Jiro Noguchi (野口二郎), baseball player

Ken Noguchi (野口健), alpinist

Kenji Noguchi (野口健司), member of the Shinsengumi

Koji Noguchi (野口幸司), football player

Osamu Noguchi (野口修), founder of Japanese kickboxing

Ryuji Noguchi (野口 竜司, born 1995), Japanese rugby union player

Shigeki Noguchi (野口茂樹), baseball player

Shitagau Noguchi (野口遵), businesspeople

Soichi Noguchi (野口晴哉), astronaut

Thomas Noguchi (トーマス野口), Japanese-American coroner for Los Angeles County

Toshihiro Noguchi (野口寿浩), baseball player

Masaaki Noguchi (野口正明), baseball player

Mika Noguchi (野口美佳), businesswoman

Mizuki Noguchi (野口みずき), athlete

Neisai Noguchi (野口寧斎), poet

Nawoko Noguchi, also known as Naoko Ken (研ナオコ), singer, actress and television personality

Ryu Noguchi (野口竜), manga artist and designer

Ujo Noguchi (野口雨情), author

Yasutada Noguchi (野口安忠), athlete

Yataro Noguchi (野口弥太郎), painter

Yone Noguchi (野口米次郎), poet and father of Isamu Noguchi

Yoshiyuki Noguchi (野口祥順), baseball player

Noguchi Yuka, Japanese woman educator for preschool education

Yukio Noguchi (野口悠紀雄), economist

Okinawa Island

Okinawa Island (沖縄本島, Okinawa-hontō, alternatively 沖縄島 Okinawa-jima; Okinawan: 沖縄/うちなー Uchinaa or 地下/じじ jiji; Kunigami: ふちなー Fuchináa) is the largest of the Okinawa Islands and the Ryukyu (Nansei) Islands of Japan in the Kyushu region. It is the smallest and least populated of the five main islands of Japan. The island is approximately 70 miles (110 km) long and an average 7 miles (11 km) wide, and has an area of 1,206.98 square kilometers (466.02 sq mi). It is roughly 640 kilometres (400 mi) south of the main island of Kyushu and the rest of Japan. It is 500 km (300 mi) north of Taiwan. The total population of Okinawa Island is 1,384,762. The Greater Naha area has roughly 800,000 residents while the city itself has about 320,000 people. Naha is home to the prefectural seat of Okinawa Prefecture on the southwestern part of Okinawa Island. It has a humid subtropical climate. Okinawa is part of the Kyushu region.

Okinawa's population is among the longest living peoples in the world. Residents have less cancer, heart disease and dementia than Americans, while Okinawan women live longer than anywhere else on Earth.Okinawa has been a critical strategic location for the United States Armed Forces since the end of World War II. The island hosts around 26,000 US military personnel, about half of the total complement of the United States Forces Japan, spread among 32 bases and 48 training sites. US bases in Okinawa played critical roles in the Korean War, Vietnam War, War in Afghanistan, and Iraq War. The presence of the US military in Okinawa has caused political controversy both on the island and elsewhere in Japan.

Okinawa Prefecture

Okinawa Prefecture (Japanese: 沖縄県, Hepburn: Okinawa-ken, Okinawan: ウチナー Uchinaa) is the southernmost prefecture of Japan. It encompasses two thirds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long. The Ryukyu Islands extend southwest from Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu (the southwesternmost of Japan's four main islands) to Taiwan. Naha, Okinawa's capital, is located in the southern part of Okinawa Island.Although Okinawa Prefecture comprises just 0.6 percent of Japan's total land mass, about 75 percent of all United States military personnel stationed in Japan are assigned to installations in the prefecture. Currently about 26,000 U.S. troops are based in the prefecture.


Woodpeckers are near passerine birds of the order Piciformes. They are one subfamily in the family Picidae, which also includes the piculets and wrynecks. They are found worldwide.

Woodpeckers gained their English name because of the habit of some species of tapping and pecking noisily on tree trunks with their beaks and heads. This is both a means of communication to signal possession of territory to their rivals, and a method of locating and accessing insect larvae found under the bark or in long winding tunnels in the tree or upright log.

Ryukyu Islands

The Ryukyu Islands (琉球諸島, Ryūkyū-shotō), also known as the Nansei Islands (南西諸島, Nansei-shotō, lit. "Southwest Islands") or the Ryukyu Arc (琉球弧, Ryūkyū-ko), are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands (further divided into the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands), with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are mostly high islands and the smaller mostly coral. The largest is Okinawa Island.

The climate of the islands ranges from humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) in the north to tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af) in the south. Precipitation is very high and is affected by the rainy season and typhoons. Except the outlying Daitō Islands, the island chain has two major geologic boundaries, the Tokara Strait (between the Tokara and Amami Islands) and the Kerama Gap (between the Okinawa and Miyako Islands). The islands beyond the Tokara Strait are characterized by their coral reefs.

The Ōsumi and Tokara Islands, the northernmost of the islands, fall under the cultural sphere of the Kyushu region of Japan; the people are ethnically Japanese and speak a variation of the Kagoshima dialect of Japanese. The Amami, Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama Islands have a native population collectively called the Ryukyuan people, named for the former Ryukyu Kingdom that ruled them. The varied Ryukyuan languages are traditionally spoken on these islands, and the major islands have their own distinct languages. In modern times, the Japanese language is the primary language of the islands, with the Okinawan Japanese dialect prevalently spoken. The outlying Daitō Islands were uninhabited until the Meiji period, when their development was started mainly by people from the Izu Islands south of Tokyo, with the people there speaking the Hachijō language.

Administratively, the islands are divided into Kagoshima Prefecture (specifically the islands administered by Kagoshima District, Kumage Subprefecture/District, and Ōshima Subprefecture/District) in the north and Okinawa Prefecture in the south, with the divide between the Amami and Okinawa Islands, with the Daitō Islands part of Okinawa Prefecture. The northern (Kagoshima) islands are collectively called the Satsunan Islands, while the southern part of the chain (Okinawa Prefecture) are called the Ryukyu Islands in Chinese.

Sibley-Monroe checklist 2

The Sibley-Monroe checklist was a landmark document in the study of birds. It drew on extensive DNA-DNA hybridisation studies to reassess the relationships between modern birds.


Woodpeckers, also in India called as, Sutar Pakshi, carpenter's bird are part of the family Picidae, a group of near-passerine birds that also consist of piculets, wrynecks, and sapsuckers. Members of this family are found worldwide, except for Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Madagascar, and the extreme polar regions. Most species live in forests or woodland habitats, although a few species are known that live in treeless areas, such as rocky hillsides and deserts, and the Gila woodpecker specialises in exploiting cacti.

Members of this family are chiefly known for their characteristic behaviour. They mostly forage for insect prey on the trunks and branches of trees, and often communicate by drumming with their beak, producing a reverberatory sound that can be heard at some distance. Some species vary their diet with fruits, birds' eggs, small animals, and tree sap. They mostly nest and roost in holes that they excavate in tree trunks, and their abandoned holes are of importance to other cavity-nesting birds. They sometimes come into conflict with humans when they make holes in buildings or feed on fruit crops, but perform a useful service by their removal of insect pests on trees.

The Picidae are one of nine living families in the order Piciformes, the others being barbets (comprising three families), toucans, toucan-barbets, and honeyguides which (along with woodpeckers) comprise the clade Pici, and the jacamars and puffbirds in the clade Galbuli. DNA sequencing has confirmed the sister relationships of these two groups. The family Picidae includes about 240 species arranged in 35 genera. Almost 20 species are threatened with extinction due to loss of habitat or habitat fragmentation, with one, the Bermuda flicker, being extinct and a further two probably being so.


Yanbaru (山原) is the Okinawan and Kunigami name given to the forested northern part of Okinawa Island in Japan. Spanning the northern villages of Higashi, Kunigami, and Ōgimi, Yanbaru contains some of the last large surviving tracts of subtropical rainforest in Asia, with many endemic species of flora and fauna. Many southerners fled to the area for refuge during the Battle of Okinawa. In 2016, Yanbaru National Park was established and the area was included in a submission for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.Yanbaru currently contains the 7,500 ha US Jungle Warfare Training Centre at Camp Gonsalves. As of 2010 there were twenty-two helipads in the training area with a further seven planned within two of the best preserved areas. Issues relating to the location of helipads delayed the designation as a National Park. Threatened by clearcutting and the removal of undergrowth, various endemic species are facing an imminent extinction crisis. The US Marine Corps has noted that 'to continue to perform realistic military training activities, these habitats must be maintained.'


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