This region includes the eastern part of the vast belt of boreal (or taiga) forest which extends from northern Europe to north-east Asia, together with the northern temperate forests of south-east Russia, North Korea, and north-east China. Six threatened bird species breed in these forests and the associated wetlands, including three which are confined to the relatively developed south and east of the region (the riverine Scaly-sided Merganser and Blakiston’s Fishowl, and Rufous-backed Bunting). The other three are relatively widespread within the region, with Baikal Teal also nesting in tundra wetlands (see W01) and Greater Spotted Eagle ranging westwards from Asia to eastern Europe. An additional seven threatened species (Oriental Stork, Crested Shelduck, Baer’s Pochard, Steller’s Sea-eagle, Red-crowned Crane, Swinhoe’s Rail and Spotted Greenshank) are found in wetlands on the south-eastern and eastern edges of this forest zone, and their conservation is covered in regions W02 and W03.
Key habitats Boreal and temperate forest, and associated wetlands.
Altitude Lowlands to c.2,000 m.
Countries and territories Russia (Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Buryatia, Chita, Yakutia, Koryakia, Kamchatka, Magadan, Khabarovsk, Amur, Jewish Autonomous Region, Primorye, Sakhalin); Mongolia; Japan (Hokkaido); North Korea; China (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Inner Mongolia)
Three threatened bird species breed in the forests on the main southern islands of Japan: Japanese Night-heron and Fairy Pitta are mainly confined to lowland forests in southern Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, and Yellow Bunting nests only in mid-altitude forests in the mountains of Honshu. Another eight threatened species breed on small islands in the three Japanese Endemic Bird Areas: the Izu islands, Ogasawara islands and Nansei Shoto. These include the highly threatened Okinawa Rail and Okinawa Woodpecker, which are endemic to the forests of Okinawa, and Amami Thrush, which is found only on Amami and nearby small islands.
Key habitats Subtropical and temperate forest.
Altitude Lowlands to 1,500 m.
Countries and territories Japan (Honshu, Izu islands, Ogasawara islands, Shikoku, Kyushu, Nansei Shoto).
Twelve threatened bird species breed in the subtropical forests of south-east China and Taiwan, one of which also occurs in northern Vietnam. They are all found in the three Endemic Bird Areas of this region—the Chinese subtropical forests, South-east Chinese mountains and Taiwan—other than Reeves’s Pheasant, which inhabits the forests of central China. Most of them occur in forests on hills and lower mountains slopes, and in Sichuan their ranges meet those of the threatened birds of the Sino-Himalayan mountain forests (F04).
Key habitats Subtropical forest.
Altitude Lowlands to 2,600 m.
Countries and territories China (mainland: Gansu, Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunnan, Guizhou, Shaanxi, Henan, Hubei, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangxi, Guangdong; Taiwan); Vietnam.
This region is made up of the mid- and high-elevation forests, scrub and grasslands that cloak the southern slopes of the Himalayas and the mountains of south-west China and northern Indochina. A total of 28 threatened species are confined (as breeding birds) to the Sino-Himalayan mountain forests, including six which are relatively widespread in distribution, and 22 which inhabit one of the region’s six Endemic Bird Areas: Western Himalayas, Eastern Himalayas, Shanxi mountains, Central Sichuan mountains, West Sichuan mountains and Yunnan mountains. All 28 taxa are considered Vulnerable, apart from the Endangered White-browed Nuthatch, which has a tiny range, and the Critically Endangered Himalayan Quail, which has not been seen for over a century and may be extinct.
Key habitats Montane temperate, subtropical and subalpine forest, and associated grassland and scrub.
Altitude 350–4,500 m.
Countries and territories China (Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei, Beijing, Guangxi); Pakistan; India (Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram); Nepal; Bhutan; Myanmar; Thailand; Laos; Vietnam.
Twelve threatened bird species are confined to forests in this region, and two others occur as non-breeding visitors. They are found in three discrete forest areas, two Endemic Bird Areas—the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka—and one Secondary Area—the Central Indian forests. The Central Indian forests support the Critically Endangered Forest Owlet, a species only recently rediscovered after a gap of over 100 years. In the more humid forests of the Western Ghats, three of the four endemic species are confined to the higher altitude habitats in the south, but Nilgiri Wood-pigeon occurs throughout. On Sri Lanka, six of the seven endemics are confined to the moist forests of the wet zone in the south-west of the island, with only Red-faced Malkoha ranging into the dry zone of the north and east. In the wet zone, Green-billed Coucal is confined to rainforests in the lowlands, and Sri Lanka Wood-pigeon and Sri Lanka Whistling-thrush to forests at higher altitudes.
Key habitats Lowland wet evergreen and semi-evergreen rainforest, moist deciduous forest and montane wet temperate forest; montane grasslands.
Altitude 0–2,600 m.
Countries and territories India (Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Orissa); Sri Lanka.
The Indo-Burmese region includes the moist tropical and subtropical forests which extend from north-east India and southern China across the lowlands and isolated mountains of South-East Asia, as well as the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The forests in this region support 24 threatened bird species, 18 of which breed nowhere else; the other six include four which also occur in the Sundaland forests (F07) and two from the South-east Chinese forests (F03). Seven threatened species are relatively widespread within this region (Table 2), and 17 are confined to one of the region’s six Endemic Bird Areas and two Secondary Areas. Nine species of this region are Endangered, including three low-density species which inhabit forested wetlands, and six restricted-range species affected by deforestation.
Key habitats Lowland evergreen and semi-evergreen tropical rainforest, moist deciduous forest and hill evergreen forest, and associated wetlands.
Altitude 0–2,400 m.
Countries and territories China (Yunnan, Hainan); India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Andaman and Nicobar islands); Bhutan; Bangladesh; Myanmar; Thailand; Laos; Cambodia; Vietnam.
The Sundaland (or Sundaic) region includes the moist tropical lowland and montane forests of the Thai-Malay peninsula and the Greater Sunda islands. It supports 47 threatened bird species, 38 of which breed nowhere else. Twenty-eight threatened species are particularly associated with Sundaland’s (once) extensive lowland forests (Table 2); 22 of these are endemic to the region, including four unique to the Thai-Malay peninsula (including Gurney’s Pitta), one known only from Sumatra (Rueck’s Blue-flycatcher), five confined to Borneo and one small island specialist (Silvery Woodpigeon). Nineteen (mainly montane) threatened species are found in the region’s three Endemic Bird Areas, including one confined to the Bornean mountains, six to the Sumatra mountains, two to the Peninsular Malaysia mountains, and seven to the Java and Bali forests. This region also supports a remarkable total of 106 Near Threatened species, including 79 lowland specialists.
Key habitats Lowland evergreen and semi-evergreen rain forest, peat swamp forest, heath forest, moist deciduous forest, lower montane and upper montane rain forest, savanna and cultivated areas.
Altitude 0–3,350 m.
Countries and territories Myanmar; Thailand; Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah, Sarawak); Singapore; Brunei; Indonesia (Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java and Bali).
Wallacea includes the Indonesian regions of Nusa Tenggara (almost equivalent to the Lesser Sundas), Sulawesi and Maluku (almost equivalent to the Moluccas). The entire region is remarkable for the high degree of localised endemism, and has been subdivided into 10 Endemic Bird Areas (four in Nusa Tenggara, three in Sulawesi and three in Maluku) and one Secondary Area (in Sulawesi). In several of these EBAs (e.g. Timor and Wetar; Sulawesi; Buru) the threatened species include both lowland and montane forest specialists, and some threatened species are highly localised (e.g. Black-chinned Monarch is confined to the tiny island of Boano); conservation measures are therefore required to protect both lowland and montane forests in these EBAs, and in the areas which support highly localised species. The remarkable total of 27 highly threatened species mainly comprises birds affected by habitat loss within their small ranges, but also several species under pressure from exploitation for the wild bird trade (e.g. Chattering Lory and Yellow-crested Cockatoo) or for their eggs (e.g. Maleo).
Key habitats Tropical lowland and montane rainforest, moist and dry deciduous forest, mangrove forest and sago swamps, and associated grassland scrub and cultivation.
Altitude 0–3,000 m.
Countries and territories Indonesia (Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, Maluku); Timor-Leste (East Timor).
The Philippine archipelago is remarkable for its high degree of endemism, with c.44% of the (c.395) breeding bird species, and 54 of the 58 threatened forest species which occur in the country, unique to the islands. There are also high levels of localised endemism within the archipelago, which is subdivided here into seven Endemic Bird Areas and two Secondary Areas. In several EBAs (Mindoro; Luzon; Negros and Panay; Mindanao and the Eastern Visayas) the threatened species include both lowland and montane forest specialists, and some of them are highly localised (e.g. Negros Striped-babbler is virtually confined to Cuernos de Negros in southern Negros); conservation measures are therefore required to protect both lowland and montane forests in these EBAs, and in the areas which support localised species. The remarkable total of 22 highly threatened species mainly comprises birds affected by habitat loss within their small ranges, but also includes Philippine Eagle, found at low densities in the remaining forests of Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao, and Philippine Cockatoo, which is under huge pressure from capture for the wild bird trade. The conservation of waterbirds in the Philippines is covered in W19.