山原水雞 (Yanbaru Kuina, Gallirallus okinawae)
The Okinawa Rail (ヤンバルクイナ, the Yanbaru Kuina, Gallirallus okinawae), is the endemic species inhabit northern Okinawa Island: the "Yanbaru" area. This forest land of Yanbaru area is extremely small. The Yanbaru Kuina was discovered relatively recent in 1981, and soon listed on "Natural monuments designated by the nation of Japan" in the next year. Which shows Japanese government attaches great importance to this rare bird. The population number of the flightless bird was estimated about 1800 when the bird was just been described. But until 2005, the number dropped to about 717 individuals. The main threats for the population of Yanbaru Kuina are as below: hunting by invasive animals (the India Grey Mongoose, dogs and cats), especially for the Indian Gray Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii), the Japanese government bulit a fence crossing from the Shioyawan of Ogimi Village to the Fukuchi Dam of Higashimura in 2005, use it to stop the India Grey Mongoose keep going north to the Yanbaru area. The fence stop 486 individuals of the India Grey Mongoose successfully in 2008! But unfortunately, still part of the Indian Gray Mongoose has fled into the northern forest. Otherwise, still some problems like habitat fragmentation caused by roads, road-killed... etc. How to keep on helping the population of Yanbaru Kuina, which is a great challenge to the Japanese government.
山原水雞 (ヤンバルクイナ, the Yanbaru Kuina, Gallirallus okinawae) 是沖繩島北邊森林的特有種,全世界只有在這一片"山原"地區的森林才能見到牠們,分布非常的狹窄。牠們在相對晚近的1981年才被學界發現,隔年立刻就被列名"日本國指定天然紀念物",足見日本學界對於這種珍稀鳥類的高度重視。這種幾乎無法飛行的奇特鳥類在被發現之初所推定的族群數大約在1800隻左右,到最近一次 (2005年) 普查時只剩約717隻,主要造成牠們的族群數下降的原因有:外來動物的捕殺 (印度灰獴、貓和狗),尤其針對印度灰獴 (Herpestes edwardsii),日本政府在2005年開始在沖繩大宜味村塩屋灣到東村福地大壩之間拉起了一道阻擋印度灰獴繼續往北擴散的"北上防止柵",這道柵欄在2008年就欄下了486隻印度灰獴!但可惜的是仍有部分的印度灰獴已經在北部森林裡流竄了。此外的問題還有棲地被道路切割破碎化,路殺等問題,如何繼續保護山原水雞,考驗著日本政府的智慧。

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