Ryukyu kingfisher

The Ryukyu kingfisher (Todiramphus cinnamominus miyakoensis) is an enigmatic taxon of tree kingfisher. It is extinct and was only ever known from a single specimen. Its taxonomic status is doubtful; it is most likely a subspecies of the Guam kingfisher, which would make its scientific name Todiramphus cinnamomina miyakoensis. As the specimen is extant at the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology, the question could be resolved using DNA sequence analysis; at any rate, the Guam kingfisher is almost certainly the closest relative of the Ryukyu bird. The IUCN considers this bird a subspecies and has hence struck it from its redlist.

The one known bird, probably a male, was according to its label collected on Miyako-jima, the main island of the Miyako group, Ryūkyū Shotō, on February 5, 1887. While it is often and correctly stated that specimen labels may be incorrect or misleading, the locality, to the northwest of the extant populations of Todiramphus cinnamomina, seems sound in a biogeographical sense. At least the specimen labels of Ryukyu collections by later Japanese collectors are usually very reliable; whether this is true for earlier collection too is not known.

The only differences between the Miyako-jima bird and males of the Guam kingfisher (the nominate subspecies of the Micronesian kingfisher; presently only surviving in captivity) are the former's lack of a black nape band and the red feet (black in Guam birds). The bill color is unknown due to damage to the specimen, and supposed differences in the proportion of the remiges are almost certainly an artifact of specimen preparation. Indeed, the specimen was not recognized as distinct until some 30 years after its collection.

If the bird was indeed a resident of the Miyako group (and as there was better habitat on neighboring Irabu-jima, it is probable that it would have been found there too), it became extinct in the late 19th century. While this seems early, the population must have always been small as there never was much habitat available in historic times. Certainly, thorough research in the early 20th century failed to find the bird again. The reasons for the disappearance of the population would have been land clearance and draining of wetlands for agriculture.

Todiramphus cinnamominus miyakoensis
Extinct  (late 19th century)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Alcedinidae
Subfamily: Halcyoninae
Genus: Todiramphus
Species:
Subspecies:
T. c. miyakoensis
Trinomial name
Todiramphus cinnamominus miyakoensis
(Kuroda, 1919)
Synonyms

Halcyon miyakoensis Kuroda, 1919

References

  • Kuroda, Nagamichi (1919): [Description of Todiramphus miyakoensis]. Dobutsugaku Zasshi (Zoological Magazine) 31: 229, 231.
Guam kingfisher

The Guam kingfisher (Todiramphus cinnamominus) is a species of kingfisher from the United States Territory of Guam. It is restricted to a captive breeding program following its extinction in the wild due primarily to predation by the introduced brown tree snake.

List of Asian animals extinct in the Holocene

The list of extinct animals of Asia features the animals that have become extinct along the history in the Asian Continent. This list only involves extinctions of the Holocene epoch.

List of bird extinctions by year

The accuracy of these dates varies wildly between one entry and another.

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 recently extinct bird species

This page refers only to birds that have gone extinct since 1500; for the list of birds known only from fossils, see List of fossil bird genera. For birds extinct in Late Quaternary prehistoric times and usually known from specimens not completely fossilized, see List of Late Quaternary prehistoric bird species.Over 190 species of birds have become extinct since 1500, and the rate of extinction seems to be increasing. The situation is exemplified by Hawaii, where 30% of all known recently extinct bird taxa originally lived. Other areas, such as Guam, have also been hit hard; Guam has lost over 60% of its native bird taxa in the last 30 years, many of them due to the introduced brown tree snake.

Currently there are approximately 10,000 living species of birds, with an estimated 1,200 considered to be under threat of extinction.

Island species in general, and flightless island species in particular, are most at risk. The disproportionate number of rails in the list reflects the tendency of that family to lose the ability to fly when geographically isolated. Even more rails became extinct before they could be described by scientists; these taxa are listed in List of Late Quaternary prehistoric bird species.

The extinction dates given below are usually approximations of the actual date of extinction. In some cases, more exact dates are given as it is sometimes possible to pinpoint the date of extinction to a specific year or even day (the San Benedicto rock wren is possibly the most extreme example—its extinction could be timed with an accuracy of maybe half an hour). Extinction dates in the literature are usually the dates of the last verified record (credible observation or specimen taken); for many Pacific birds that became extinct shortly after European contact, however, this leaves an uncertainty period of over a century, because the islands on which they lived were only rarely visited by scientists.

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.

Todiramphus

Todiramphus is a genus of kingfishers in the subfamily Halcyoninae.

The genus was introduced by the French surgeon and naturalist René Lesson in 1827. The name is often spelt Todirhamphus (with rh), but Todiramphus is the original valid spelling. The name literally means "tody-bill"; tody is a relative of the kingfishers with a similar slender long bill, and the Greek rhamphos (ῥάµϕος) means "beak" or "bill".There are around 30 extant species in the genus, but the classification of several Pacific island forms is still unclear. The range of the genus extends from the Red Sea in the west to French Polynesia in the east, with the greatest diversity in Australasia.

Members of Todiramphus are medium-sized kingfishers with flattened beaks. They are typically blue or blue-green above with pale underparts. They often have a pale collar and stripe over the eye. Many species are commonly found well away from water and feed largely on terrestrial animals such as insects and lizards. The nest is built in a cavity, most often in a tree.

Lacedo
Dacelo
Clytoceyx
Cittura
Pelargopsis
Halcyon
Todiramphus
Caridonax
Melidora
Actenoides
Syma
Tanysiptera

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