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Sichuan Jay Perisoreus internigrans
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This jay qualifies as Vulnerable because it has a small, declining, severely fragmented population as a result of extensive deforestation throughout its range.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

30 cm. Medium-sized, drab, sooty-grey jay. Bill rather short and stout, head darker than body. Voice Contact calls include high-pitched kyip notes, sometimes extended to kyip kyip kyip kyip kyip ip ip ip ip, and mewing, rising meeeoo-meeeoo.

Distribution and population
Perisoreus internigrans is endemic to China, where it is known from eastern Tibet, south-east Qinghai, southern Gansu and western Sichuan (BirdLife International 2001). Most records have involved a small number of individuals and it has been described as rare. Given the relatively small number of documented localities and its apparently low population density, it could have a small population, which is likely to be declining.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
This species is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate, owing to forest loss within its range. It also appears to be showing signs of susceptibility to climate change and may respond negatively to future impacts.

It appears to favour high-altitude (3,000-4,270 m), dry coniferous forest of mature spruce, and mixed fir and rhododendron forest, often with a poorly developed understorey. It forms small flocks in autumn, usually of five or six birds, but sometimes more than 10, and feeds on invertebrates and fruit. It breeds very early, with clutch completion estimated to occur in March or April (Yu Jing et al. 2009).

The main threat is likely to be the loss and fragmentation of forest, including substantial areas of the upper temperate and subalpine zone forests in Sichuan, through logging for timber and conversion to agriculture and pasture. Forest cover may also be declining on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau because the climate is progressively becoming drier.

Conservation Actions Underway
A number of protected areas established for giant panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca contain suitable habitat, but the species's distribution and abundance in these is poorly known. It has only been recorded from one protected area, Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve in Sichuan. This has an area of 200 km2, where the natural habitats are apparently in excellent condition, but are under pressure from large-scale tourism. The species was the focus of a study in Jone (Zhouni) County, Gansu in 1999-2002 (Yu et al. 2003). Conservation Actions Proposed
Research its habitat requirements and altitudinal range. Study its population status and survey protected areas in or near its known range. Support recommendations to control logging, control fire and restore damaged giant panda habitat where this would benefit this species and other endemic temperate forest bird species. Strengthen protection and control tourism at Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve and link it to other important protected areas in the Min Shan. List it as a nationally protected species in China.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Jing Y, Sun YH , Fang Y. 2003. Notes on the Natural History of the Sichuan Jay (Perisoreus internigrans). Chin J Zool 38: 91–92.

Yu Jing; Yun Fang; Strickland, D.; Nan Lu; Yue-Hua Sun. 2009. Alloparenting in the rare Sichuan Jay (Perisoreus internigrans). Condor 111(4): 662-667.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

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
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Crosby, M., Khwaja, N., Peet, N., Taylor, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Perisoreus internigrans. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Sichuan jay (Perisoreus internigrans) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Corvidae (Crows and jays)
Species name author (Thayer & Bangs, 1912)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 143,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species