Ryukyu wood pigeon

The Ryukyu wood pigeon (Columba jouyi), otherwise known as the silver-banded or silver-crescented pigeon is an extinct species of bird in the Columba genus in the family Columbidae. This wood pigeon was endemic to the Laurel forest habitat.

Ryukyu wood pigeon

Extinct  (late 1930s) (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Columba
C. jouyi
Binomial name
Columba jouyi
(Stejneger, 1887)

Janthoenas jouyi Stejneger, 1887
Carpophaga janthina Seebohm, 1887 (partim)


It is an extinct species of pigeon that was endemic to islands in the Okinawa archipelago south-west of the Japanese mainland. In the Okinawa group, it has been recorded from Iheyajima, Izenajima, Okinawa proper and the nearby islet Yagachijima. In the Kerama Retto to the west of Okinawa, it was found on Zamamijima, whereas in the Daitō group, some 300 km to the SE of Okinawa, it occurred on both major islets, Kita Daitōjima and Minami Daitōjima. In earlier times, it was most likely also found on other islands near Okinawa, such as Iejima. The species' scientific name honors Stejneger's friend, the specimen collector Pierre Louis Jouy.


Like all species of Japanese wood pigeons, the Ryukyu wood pigeon was very susceptible to habitat destruction. It required substantial areas of undisturbed subtropical forest to thrive. Iejima, for example, was largely deforested for settlement and agriculture even before scientific exploration began, which explains the absence of records from this island. The species was last recorded on Okinawa in 1904, probably succumbing to hunting. In the Daitō group, it disappeared after 1936 due to these small islands being completely deforested by settlement and construction activity prior to World War II. It was presumed to continue to exist on the outlying islands in the Okinawa group, but has never been found again.

Theoretically, there is sufficient habitat remaining in the mountains of Okinawa. Still, the military activity in World War II and hunting by the Japanese garrison would probably have yielded sightings, if birds still had existed there. More puzzling is the absence of any records from Tokashikijima in the Kerama Retto, which, despite being small, has still mostly intact forest cover even today; Zamamijima, where the species is known to have occurred is smaller still and situated farther away from the Okinawan mainland.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Columba jouyi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  • Stejneger, Leonhard Hess (1887): Description of a New Species of Fruit-Pigeon (Janthoenas jouyi) from the Liu Kiu Islands, Japan. Am. Nat. 21(6): 583-584.

External links

Columba (genus)

The large bird genus Columba comprises a group of medium to large stout-bodied pigeons, often referred to as the typical pigeons. The terms "dove" and "pigeon" are used indiscriminately for smaller and larger Columbidae, respectively. Columba species – at least those of Columba sensu stricto – are generally termed "pigeons", and in many cases wood-pigeons. The species commonly referred to just as "the pigeon" is the feral pigeon (C. livia domestica). It is derived from the rock dove (C. livia), which also has given rise to the majority of domesticated pigeon breeds, such as the racing pigeon and the fantail pigeon. Meanwhile, "wood pigeon" by itself usually means the common wood pigeon (C. palumbus).

This genus as understood today is native to the Old World, but some – notably the domestic and feral rock pigeon – have been introduced outside their natural range, for example in the Americas.

IUCN Red List of extinct species

On 29 January 2010, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 842 (746 animals, 96 plants) extinct species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and sub-populations.

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 birds by common name

In this list of birds by common name, a total of 9,722 extant and recently extinct bird species are recognised, belonging to a total of 204 families.

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 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.

List of wild pigeon species

The International Ornithological Congress (IOC) recognizes 344 species in family Columbidae, the pigeons and doves. This list is presented according to the IOC taxonomic sequence and can also be sorted alphabetically by common name and binomial. It includes 13 extinct species. For a list of domesticated varieties, see List of pigeon breeds.

The IOC breeding range descriptions use the following abbreviations for continents and other major geographic areas.

AF: Africa

AU: Australasia (New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, and the Bismarck Archipelago)

EU: Eurasia (Europe and Asia to the Oriental Region boundary)

IO: Indian Ocean

MA: Middle America

NA: North America

OR: Oriental region (South Asia from Pakistan to Taiwan, southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Greater Sundas)

PO: Polynesia (including Caroline and Mariana Islands)

SA: South America

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.


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