Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wildlife Photos: Okinawa Rail an Endangered Species

bird, Yanbaru Kuina
The Okinawa Rail ( Gallirallus okinawae ) is better known locally as a Yanbaru Kuina.  This photo, of an adult Kuina, was taken at Ada Kunigami Okinawa, Japan on July 31, 2001 shortly before 7AM.

These birds are practically flightless but, when they get spooked, will run pretty fast and be out of sight quicker than you can focus on them.  They live in areas where plenty of broad-leafed vegetation grows and fresh water is available.  They eat bugs, lizzards and snails.  The Okinawa Rail's enemies are snakes, the Mongoose and idiots who drive too fast along the mountain roads.

juvinile Okinawa Rail
Here is a photo of a juvenile Yanbaru Kuina.  I'm including it so everyone knows what they look like, too.  The adults are much easier to identify because of the bright colored beak and they get all the attention on posters warning people to look out for them.  

When driving around in the northern areas of Okinawa look out for the little guys, too. 

If they get squished the Okinawa Rail won't be an Endangered Species, anymore.  They'll be extinct !



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