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Lanyu (or Orchid Island), a tiny forested island (46 km2, reaching a height of 548 m) c.75 km off the south-east coast of Taiwan (see map, p. 460), has been developed for tourism but this is limited to the periphery of the island. Two restricted-range species occur there: Whistling Green-pigeon Treron formosae and Elegant Scops-owl Otus elegans; both occur also on the Nansei Shoto (EBA 148) and on the Batanes and Babuyan Islands north of the Philippines (Secondary Area s094), and T. formosae is also on Taiwan (EBA 149). T. formosae was fairly common on Lanyu until 1990 when a major typhoon hit the island and caused extensive damage to the forest (L. L. Severinghaus in litt. 1996). O. elegans botelensis was listed as threatened by King (1978-1979), and in 1985-1986 the population of this race was estimated at 150-230 birds, surviving in c.18 km2 of suitable habitat of which only c.5 km2 was mature forest (Severinghaus 1989). More recently its numbers have been estimated to be stable at 1,000 birds and prospects for its survival appear good if the habitat can be protected (L. L. Severinghaus in litt. 1996).
Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
Threat and conservation
BirdLife International (2023) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Lanyu. Downloaded from
http://datazone.birdlife.org/eba/search on 08/06/2023.