The Okinawa rail is a flightless bird only found in the northern part of Okinawa. It is a protected species and declared a living natural monument. It is currently listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as an endangered species. In 2012 populations of this endemic bird were estimated at 1500 by the Environment Ministry.
The rail is often found feeding on the side of the road. It feeds on worms, snails, and insects.
When defending its territory, the rail will become aggressive and flare its wings.
Okinawa rail awareness signs are posted along the main roads in northern Okinawa for their protection.
The speed limit is only 40km/h so watch your speed for the protection of the wildlife. The rails are often seen feeding on the side of the road.
I have observed these birds crossing the road on many occasions. They have no problems crossing when people are driving the speed limit. Speeding decreases your reaction time so slow down and pay attention to all crossing wildlife.
An Okinawa rail that was killed by a speeding motor vehicle on Route 2 in northern Okinawa.
Let’s protect the wildlife of Okinawa, Japan.
Have a great day!