Okinawa Woodpecker

East Asia


Dendrocopos noguchii


  • Habitat destruction
  • Construction of buildings
  • Conversion of lands for agricultural purpose

This rare woodpecker species is a cultural and an ecological icon in Japan where it exclusively lives. It can only survive in the northern jungles on the Okinawa Island, building its nest on trees of subtropical, broad-leaved forests.

This medium-sized (31 cm) woodpecker has dark brown body with white-spotted, red-spotted feathers. Males have a dark red crown while females have a blackish-brown crown. Like other woodpeckers, it emits various combinations of sharp calls or sounds.

Due to ongoing destruction of its forest habitat, it is almost on the brink of extinction. One particular reason is the possible construction of a military training base. Added to the threats to its population growth are continued logging, agricultural activities, and dam construction.