Hainan leaf warbler -- 海南柳莺 (Phylloscopus hainanus)

Hainan leaf warbler singing
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Hainan leaf warbler fact file

Hainan leaf warbler description

GenusPhylloscopus (1)

This is a rather small, slim leaf-warbler with vivid green upperparts, prominent yellow and greyish-green head stripes, and warm yellow wing-bars and underparts (2) (3). Both sexes have a similar plumage, but the female is smaller than the male on average (3).

Size: 10 – 11 cm (2)

Hainan leaf warbler biology

The diet of the Hainan leaf warbler is unknown, but is presumed to mainly comprise small leaf-dwelling insects and their larvae, as in other warblers of the Phylloscopus genus (4). Foraging may occur singly or in pairs, but has been recorded in flocks of up to 30. Mixed-species flocks are also sometimes joined (3).

Fledged young and a nest with nearly full-grown young have been found in late April, and breeding is believed to be over by late May, as no signs of breeding activity or territorialism have been observed at that time (3) (4).


Hainan leaf warbler range

Known only from seven localities in the mountains of Hainan Island, China (2).


Hainan leaf warbler habitat

Found in primary, selectively logged and secondary broadleaf forest and scrub, mainly in the latter, at edges of mature tropical forest, from 640 to 1,500 metres above sea level (2) (3).


Hainan leaf warbler status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable


Hainan leaf warbler threats

The Hainan leaf warbler is considered threatened due to its highly restricted range and the ongoing deforestation on the island (2) (3). Timber extraction, the replacement of forest by rubber plantations, slash-and-burn agriculture and the unrestricted cutting of wood for fuel and other uses has destroyed and fragmented Hainan’s forests, and left much of the remaining forest disturbed and modified (2) (4).


Hainan leaf warbler conservation

The Hainan leaf warbler has been recorded in Bawangling National Nature Reserve, Jianfengling, Baishuiling, Nanweiling, Wuzhi Shan, and Jiaxi Nature Reserves and Limu Shan Forest Park (a proposed nature reserve). A number of studies on the species have been conducted in recent years, helping to provide crucial information on its distribution and abundance (2).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For more information on the Hainan leaf warbler see:

  • BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.



This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk


Stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
Primary forest
Forest that has remained undisturbed for a long time and has reached a mature condition.
Secondary forest
Forest that has re-grown after a major disturbance, such as fire or timber harvest, but has not yet reached the mature state of primary forest.


  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2008)
  2. BirdLife International (February, 2007)
  3. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2006) Handbook of the Birds of the World – Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Vol. 11. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  4. BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

Image credit

Hainan leaf warbler singing  
Hainan leaf warbler singing

© Yik-Hei Sung @ KCC

Yik-Hei Sung @ KCC
Kadoorie Conservation China, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Lam Kam Road, Tai Po
Hong Kong


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