Vini peruviana


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Vini peruviana
Species Authority: (Müller, 1776)
Common Name(s):
English Blue Lorikeet, Violet Lorikeet, Tahitian Lorikeet
Spanish Lori Monjita
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(ii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Pilgrim, J. & Gouni, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Derhé, M., Harding, M., O'Brien, A., Shutes, S., Stattersfield, A.
This species qualifies as Vulnerable because it has a small and fragmented island distribution and is likely to continue to decline owing to ongoing predation by black rats and, to a lesser extent, cats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Vini peruviana is widely but unevenly distributed in south-east Polynesia where it has been recorded from c.20 islands, but is now extinct on several of these (Holyoak and Thibault 1984). Its range includes the Society Islands (formerly all), the northern atolls of the Tuamotu Archipelago (both French Polynesia), and Aitutaki (Cook Islands). In the Society Islands, there were possibly up to 250 and 350-400 pairs on Motu One and Manuae respectively in 1973 (Holyoak and Thibault 1984), and it has been observed on Maupihaa in 1999, where it was thought to have been extinct (either a rediscovered subpopulation or a recent recolonisation) (Te Manu 1999 27: 1, Te Manu 1999 28: 3). In the Tuamotus, there are relatively recent records (2006 estimates in brackets) (Raust and Ziembicki 2006) from Kaukura (1000), Rangiroa (1000), Arutua (500), Apataki (200), Tikehau (50) (Holyoak and Thibault 1984, Lovegrove et al. 1989) and Tiamanu Motu in Apataki atoll where a minimum 300 individuals were estimated in 1989 (this subpopulation being allegedly smaller than 10 years previously) (Lovegrove et al. 1989). On Aitutaki, where it was probably introduced, numbers have been estimated at under 500 pairs (Wilson 1993), 2,400 individuals and 1000 individuals (Raust and Ziembicki 2006). The apparent differences may be attributable to differing census techniques (G. McCormack verbally 1999). Following the devastation of Cyclone Pat in 2010, a study was carried out to assess the impact on the Blue Lorikeet, reporting an estimated population size of c.1400 birds on Aitutaki (Jennings 2011) obtained through distance sampling.

Cook Islands; French Polynesia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: When recent survey data is combined, the global population is estimated at around 7,200-9,000 individuals. It is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals, equating to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is typically found in lowland forest, mixed stands of native and cultivated trees, flowering plants, coconut, and banana plantations and gardens, where it feeds on nectar, soft fruit and flowers (Pratt et al. 1987, Collar 1997).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species's extinction from many islands is most likely due to predation by black rat Rattus rattus and to a lesser extent, feral cats Felis catus (Lovegrove et al. 1989); its extinction from Makatea in the Tuamotus could have been accelerated by a particularly violent hurricane (Thibault and Guyot 1987). Its range reduction in the Society Islands correlates with the spread of the introduced Swamp Harrier Circus approximans (Holyoak and Thibault 1984). The accidental introduction of black rats to the islands where Blue Loirkeet persists is a continuing threat to the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. On Aitutaki, where extensive trapping in 1994 indicated the absence of R. rattus, the species has been surveyed several times including by local high-school students using a simplified technique (McCormack 1997).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to ascertain its continuing presence and numbers on known islands. Continue monitoring the population on Aitutaki (G. McCormack verbally 1999). Establish more basic facts about the species's requirements, particularly those relating to feeding plants, in preparation for the re-establishment of populations on other suitable motus (Lovegrove et al. 1989). Undertake an educational programme on Apataki (Lovegrove et al. 1989) and on other islands where strong populations persist. Consider special protection of viable populations (Lovegrove et al. 1989). Prevent the arrival of Rattus rattus on Aitutaki and other important islands (J. Pilgrim in litt. 2002).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Vini peruviana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 March 2015.
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