Javan green magpie

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Javan green magpie
Javan Green Magpie at Chester Zoo.png
Individual at Chester Zoo
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Cissa
Species: C. thalassina
Binomial name
Cissa thalassina
(Temminck, 1826)

The Javan green magpie (Cissa thalassina) is a passerine bird in the crow family, Corvidae. This critically endangered species is endemic to montane forests on the Indonesian island of Java.[2] It formerly included the Bornean green magpie as a subspecies, in which case the "combined" species was known as the short-tailed magpie.[2] The bright green plumage is the result of the yellow pigment lutein, which they gain from their insect diet.[3] They also feed on small lizards and frogs.[4] Initially juveniles are bluish, but they become green after their first moult.[5] In captivity, adults turn bluish if their diet is inadequate.[3]

A pair and their dark-beaked young at Prague Zoo, a part of the EAZA breeding program

Once common, the species has declined drastically as a result of habitat loss and illegal capture for the wild animal trade.[3] The size of the remaining wild population is unknown, but perhaps only around 50 individuals,[3] while others speculate that the lack of recent sightings might mean that it already is extinct in the wild.[4] In an attempt of saving the species, a captive breeding program based on confiscate individuals has been initiated by the Cikananga Wildlife Center in Java (since 2011) and a few European EAZA zoos (since 2015).[3][5] It has successfully bred at both the Javan and European facilities,[4][5] and as of 2018 this captive population had reached about 50 individuals.[6]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2013). "Cissa thalassina". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Van Balen S et al., 2011. Biology, taxonomy and conservation status of the Short-tailed Green Magpie Cissa thalassina from Java. Bird Conservation International FirstView Article, pp 1-19.
  3. ^ a b c d e Gill, Victoria. "Sold for a song: The forest birds captured for their tuneful voices". BBC News. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "The secret life of the zoo captures a moment an endangered bird hatches". Chester Zoo. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Javan Green Magpie". Cikananga Wildlife Center. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Prague zookeepers use puppet to feed endangered magpie". The Telegraph. 17 April 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.

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