Do you know which species of birds are only found on Hainan Island?

Hainan Island has 3 species of endemic birds and the Hainan leaf Warbler Phylloscopus Hainanus is one of them. The other two are the Hainan Peacock Pheasant and the Hainan Mountain Partridge.

The Hainan Leaf Warbler

The origin story of the Hainan Leaf Warbler dates back to the 1960s when the first Hainan Leaf Warbler was discovered in Diaoluo Mountain, but the discoverers did not realise that it was a new species until 20 years later.

In 1980 the Leaf Warbler specimens were examined by Swedish scholars Per Alstrom and Urban Olsson where they compared them to other specimens from field investigations and in 1993 the Hainan leaf warbler was officially identified as a new species.

Today, the specimen collected in Diaoluo Mountain is kept in the Herbarium of the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The specimen is dated 1962.04.20 and it is still unclear who made the initial finding.

At present, the Hainan Leaf Warbler is included in the “List of Provincial Key Protected Wild Animals in Hainan Province”.

The Hainan Leaf Warbler has been classified as vulnerable

This species, known from only a handful of sites, has a small and declining range as a result of widespread deforestation, it therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

The species has been recorded in Bawangling, Jianfengling, Wuzhishan and Diaoluoshan National Nature Reserve, Nanweiling Forest Area and Jiaxi, Yinggeling and Limushan Nature Reserves.

Areas in Hainan where the Hainan Leaf Warbler can be found.

The species occurs in primary, selectively logged, and secondary forests and scrub at 640-1,500 m. It may previously have occurred at lower elevations where very little forest now remains. Fledged young and nests have been found in April with breeding apparently completed by May.

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Related article: Winter birds of Haikou

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