Okinawa Rail

East Asia


Hypotaenidia okinawae


  • Habitat fragmentation and destruction
  • Man-made developments
  • Vulnerability to predators

The Okinawa Rail is a bird species from the Rallidae family. It can only be found in the Yanbaru Forest in Okinawa, Japan. It was first discovered in 1975 and was given a detailed description 6 years afterwards.

It lives in subtropical marshes, moist environments, and marshlands near waters. It lays two to four oval-shaped eggs between May and July. It feeds on insects, small amphibians, and aquatic invertebrates. It emits a variety of loud calls throughout the day which is done with a partner. Its length and weight is 30 cm and 435 g, respectively. It has a very short wingspan at just about 50 cm, making it almost flightless. Its white-tipped large bill, legs, and eyes are bright red in colour. Though its face is black, it has white spots and lines on it. It has olive-brown upper parts, black under parts with narrow white bars, and dark brown under tail and coverts.

Its small and declining population is in danger of extinction due to restricted range, habitat fragmentation, and modern developments. Most of the forests are cleared to make way for agricultural purposes, continued logging activities, and building of roads and dams. All of these make it vulnerable to predators such as feral dogs and cats or being victims of road kill.