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Charmosyna palmarum

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES PSITTACIFORMES PSITTACIDAE

Scientific Name: Charmosyna palmarum
Species Authority: (Gmelin, 1788)
Common Name(s):
English Palm Lorikeet
Spanish Lori Palmero

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1b(iii,v)c(ii,iii);C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Birchenough, S., Dutson, G., Evans, S., Leary, T., Totterman, S. & van Oosten, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Ekstrom, J., Mahood, S., Stattersfield, A.
Justification:
This enigmatic species is rare in some locations; it is classified as Vulnerable on the basis of its small and fluctuating range in which the population is suspected to be declining overall through habitat degradation.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Charmosyna palmarum has a fluctuating range in the Santa Cruz islands of the Solomon Islands and in Vanuatu. In Santa Cruz, it is known from Nendo (relatively common in higher inland forests in 1990), the Duff Islands (where 30 were seen around one village in 1997), Tinakula (which has not been visited recently), Vanikoro (where it recently appears to have become extinct), Tikopia (where very small numbers have recently colonised) Vanua Lava (where common around Langletak village in the east), Gaua (regular visitor to coconut blossoms at sea level and also recorded in flocks in the forest on the ridge around Lake Letas [c. 500 m above sea level]), Mere Lava (fairly common in small flocks higher up and visits lower altitudes during the day) and Ambae (flocks at higher altitudes only, in forest and at forest edge starting from Duviara village, 500 m above sea level) (G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997-8, T. Leary in litt. 2000, S. Totterman in litt. 2007, Dutson in press). It has been recorded throughout Vanuatu (except the Torres Islands), but its current range is poorly known away from its stronghold on Espirito Santo (Diamond 1975b, Diamond and Marshall 1976, Bregulla 1992, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997-8). In the 1960s, it disappeared from Efate and the southern islands, but birds were seen again on Efate and Tongoa in 1998 (Diamond 1975b, Bregulla 1992, S. Birchenough and S. M. Evans verbally 1998). It is usually seen in small flocks of 10-30 birds (Bregulla 1992, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997-8) but its irregular distribution and nomadic habits make it difficult to estimate the total population.

Countries:
Native:
Solomon Islands; Vanuatu
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total population size is estimated to fall within the band 1,000-2,499 mature individuals. This equates to 1,500-3,749 individuals in total, rounded here to 1,500-4,000 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It appears to occupy high montane altitude forest at elevations in excess of 1,000 m, but flocks regularly descend to coastal trees, especially to feed on coconut blossoms (Diamond 1975b, Diamond and Marshall 1976, yBregulla 1992, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997-8, S. Totterman in litt. 2007, Dutson in press). The one nest found was at 1,600 m Bregulla 1992).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Avian malaria, cyclones and natural cycles are suggested causes of its fluctuating range (Diamond 1975b, Diamond and Marshall 1976, Bregulla 1992). Lowland forest, especially on small islands with high human populations, is being cleared for agriculture, domestic timber demand and commercial logging, but observations suggest that this habitat type may not be regularly used by this species (S. Totterman in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It is protected by law in Vanuatu and occurs in the proposed Lake Letas Reserve on Gaua. There are plans to research the Solomon Islands population and breeding ecology (J. R. van Oosten in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey other islands in northern Vanuatu. Estimate population density in Santo mountains. Determine any habitat or altitudinal requirements. Research tolerance of logged and degraded forest. Research breeding success and population cycles on small isolated islands. Investigate the role of malaria in causing population fluctuations. Ascertain genetic isolation of subpopulations on dispersed islands. Relate distribution to that of introduced mammalian predators. Designate the proposed Lake Letas Reserve on Gaua. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.


Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Charmosyna palmarum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 03 September 2014.
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