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Javan Green Magpie Cissa thalassina
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This recently-split species qualifies as Critically Endangered because it is thought to have an extremely small and fragmented population, which is suspected to be in rapid to very rapid decline owing to on-going trapping pressure and the continued loss and degradation of suitable habitat. Research and informed conservation actions are now urgently needed to increase the chances of this species's survival.

Taxonomic source(s)
van Balen, S.; Eaton, J. A.; Rheindt, F. E. 2011. Biology, taxonomy and conservation status of the Short-tailed Green Magpie Cissa [t.] thalassina from Java. Bird Conservation International.

Taxonomic note
Cissa thalassina has been split into Cissa thalassina and C. jefferyi following van Balen et al. (2011).

31-33 cm. Distinctive and striking green magpie, with black mask, red bill and chestnut remiges and wing coverts. Iris dark brown (pale in C. jefferyi). Bornean Green Magpie C. jefferyi is darker green.

Distribution and population
Cissa thalassina is endemic to western Java, Indonesia, where there are few recent records and the species now appears to be very rare and localised (van Balen et al. 2011). Since 2001, the species has been recorded in only four protected areas: the national parks of Mt Merapi, Mts Halimun-Salak and Mts Gede-Pangrango/Megamendung, and South Parahyangan Protection Forest/Nature Reserve. In the 1990s, it was also recorded at Pembarisan Mts Protection Forest and Dieng Mts Protection Forest, with records earlier in the 20th century from Jampang Kulon (not protected), Mt Slamat Protection Forest and North Parahyangan Protection Forest/Nature Reserve (van Balen et al. 2011). The paucity of recent records implies that there are probably fewer than 250 mature individuals remaining, and the population is suspected to be in on-going decline.

Population justification
It appears to have an extremely small population, which is likely to number fewer than 250 mature individuals, with each sub-population probably containing 50 mature individuals or fewer (van Balen et al. 2011). It has also been suggested that the total population probably does not exceed 100 individuals and could number fewer than 50 individuals, as there may be only one or two dozen birds at each of up to four sites where the species was recorded from 2001 to 2011 and may still be extant (van Balen et al. 2011); however, surveys should be conducted to confirm whether this is the case.

Trend justification
It has been suspected by van Balen et al. (2011) that the species is undergoing a decline of at least 80% over ten years (although this would preferably be estimated for a period of three generations = 20 years [BirdLife International unpubl. data]), based on the paucity of recent records, a fall in numbers seen in bird markets, and rapid rates of habitat loss and fragmentation. However, there is currently little evidence on which to base a suspected population decline of 80% or more over the past and next three generations, despite the likelihood of the species's population now being extremely small and localised. Although the numbers of birds on sale in markets are said to have decreased markedly (van Balen et al. 2011), more supporting data are required on the rates of habitat loss in the species's suspected range. In addition, the threat of future habitat destruction is alleviated somewhat by the protected area status of the four locations with records in 2001-2011, including three national parks and one protection forest/nature reserve, although encroachment is occurring along the borders of at least two of these national parks (van Balen et al. 2011). On this basis, the population is suspected to have undergone a decline of 50-79% over the past three generations, and is expected to decline by 30-49% over the next three generations owing to the incursion of trapping, agricultural encroachment, timber harvesting and mining into at least two of the four protected areas that appear to represent the species's remaining strongholds.

The species inhabits mainly foothill and montane forest at 500-2,000 m, occasionally ranging into lowland areas, and may be seen in adjacent cultivated areas and at the edge of forest (van Balen et al. 2011 and references therein). Its diet compromises mostly invertebrates and small vertebrate prey. Breeding appears to take place throughout the year, with a preference for the months with highest rainfall (October-April). Clutch size is one or two (van Balen et al. 2011 and references therein).

On Java, most forest below 1,000 m, and in some areas up to 1,500 m, has been cleared, which is suspected to have caused serious declines in this species's population (van Balen et al. 2011). Habitat and loss and degradation is driven primarily by agricultural expansion, logging and mining. Excessive trapping for the cage-bird trade is also thought to be a significant threat, although only relatively small numbers have ever been recorded in bird markets (van Balen et al. 2011). Bird-catchers tend to specialise in particular species, suggesting that remnant populations are at increased risk of local extirpation through targeted trapping pressure (van Balen et al. 2011). A search of bird markets in West Java in 2011 found just ten birds, some of which had been caught in the wild relatively recently (Collar et al. 2012).

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
The species is probably still extant in four protected areas, including three national parks; however, despite their designations, at least two of these national parks (Halimun-Salak and Mts Gede-Pangrango) suffer encroachment along their borders, resulting in habitat loss and degradation and trapping pressure, whilst Mt Merapi National Park has lost habitat to volcanic eruptions (van Balen et al. 2011).  Eight surviving birds found in trade in 2011 were acquired and taken to the Cikananga Wildlife Centre where it is hoped a breeding programme may be established, although experience of successful captive breeding of Cissa species is limited (Collar et al. 2012), the first chick ever bred in captivity hatched in March 2013 (Richter 2013).

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Conduct range-wide surveys in order to generate an improved population estimate. Closely monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within the species's range. Protect the species by law, but manage awareness to avoid encouraging increased trapping pressure (van Balen et al. 2011). Protect any remaining substantial fragments of suitable habitat not already covered by a designation. Increase and improve enforcement measures in protected areas within the species's range (see van Balen et al. 2011). Consider a programme of recovering captive birds for release into the wild, where possible, or recruitment into a captive breeding programme (van Balen et al. 2011). Intensify awareness-raising activities within and around protected areas to reduce trapping pressure and encroachment, and amongst the wider public to discourage trade in the species (see van Balen et al. 2011). List the species in international trade management agreements.

Collar, N. J.; Gardner, L.; Jeggo, D. F.; Marcordes, B.; Owen, A.; Pagel, T.; Vaidl, A.; Wilkinson, R.; Wirth, R. 2012. Conservation breeding and the most threatened birds in Asia. BirdingASIA 18: 50-57.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Richter, F. 2013. Das Cikananga Conservation Breeding Centre - Aktuelle Entwicklungen und Zuchterfolge. ZGAP Mitteilungen 29(2): 12-15.

van Balen, S.; Eaton, J. A.; Rheindt, F. E. 2011. Biology, taxonomy and conservation status of the Short-tailed Green Magpie Cissa [t.] thalassina from Java. Bird Conservation International.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Taylor, J., Symes, A. & Wright, L

Rheindt, F.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Cissa thalassina. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Corvidae (Crows and jays)
Species name author (Temminck, 1826)
Population size 50-249 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 33,500 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species