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Vini stepheni

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES PSITTACIFORMES PSITTACIDAE

Scientific Name: Vini stepheni
Species Authority: (North, 1908)
Common Name(s):
English Henderson Lorikeet, Stephen's Lorikeet
Spanish Lori de Stephen

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D1+2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Brooke, M., Hall, J. & Bell, B.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Mahood, S., Shutes, S., Stattersfield, A., Derhé, M.
Justification:
This species may prove to be the only member of its genus whose habitat and population size have been little affected by adverse changes to its environment. However, it qualifies as Vulnerable as it is found only on one small island, where it is at risk from the accidental introduction of alien species.

History:
2012 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Vini stepheni is restricted to Henderson in the Pitcairn Islands (to UK), a small uninhabited, raised-reef island in the south-central Pacific Ocean. In 1987, the total population was estimated at between 720 and 1,820 individuals (Graves 1992); it is thought to be stable.

Countries:
Native:
Pitcairn
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 720-1,820 individuals, roughly equating to 480-1,200 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in native forest, showing a preference for forest edge, and in coconut palms along beaches. It is a generalist feeder, consuming nectar, pollen and fruit from a wide variety of plants from beach-level to the plateau, although flowers from the plants Scaevola sericea and Timonius polygamus provide the main sources of nectar (Trevelyan 1995). Arthropods form part of the diet, including lepidopteran larvae found in the sporangia of the fern Phymatosorus (Trevelyan 1995).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species appears to have adapted to the presence of the only introduced predator, Pacific rat Rattus exulans (Trevelyan 1995). In August 2011, a rat eradication operation was carried out on Henderson Island to eradicate R. exulans from the island (J. Hall in litt. 2012). However, the accidental introduction of a more aggressive predator, such as another Rattus species, could be devastating, and introduced diseases such as avian malaria and pox are another potential threat. The introduction of exotic plant species could have serious consequences for the native vegetation (Waldren et al. 1995) and therefore for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. In 1988, Henderson was designated a World Heritage Site. Following a feasibility study (Brooke and Towns 2008) a rat eradication operation was carried out on Henderson island in August 2011 (J. Hall in litt. 2012). A follow-up monitoring expedition is planned for 2013 to assess the success of the rat eradication.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Periodically resurvey to monitor numbers and trends. Ensure that further alien species are not accidentally introduced to Henderson.  Establish a captive breeding population for use in future reintroduction and supplementation efforts.


Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Vini stepheni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 October 2014.
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