Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Psittaciformes Psittacidae

Scientific Name: Prosopeia personata
Species Authority: (Gray, 1848)
Common Name(s):
English Masked Shining-parrot, Masked Shining-Parrot, Masked Shining Parrot
Spanish Papagayo Enmascarado
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Identification information: 47 cm. Bright green parrot with long tail and striking orange-yellow breast and belly. Head is darker and merges into sooty-black towards the beak. Tail and flight feathers have heavy blue suffusion. Black bill and feet. Immature birds are similar to adults but have horn-coloured bills. Similar spp. Only large native parrot on Viti Levu, though there are a small number of naturalised Crimson Shining-parrot P. splendens from Kadavu and Red Shining-parrot P. tabuensis from Koro, Gau, Vanua Levu and Taveuni, but their red underparts and head are unmistakable. Voice Wide variety of raucous, penetrating squawks and screeches, uttered both in flight and when perched. Hints Can be found in any forested area on Viti Levu.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Dutson, G. & Watling, D.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Derhé, M., Mahood, S., Stattersfield, A., Temple, H.
This species is suspected to have undergone a moderately rapid decline owing to forest loss and conversion. It has a small range, but this is not yet severely fragmented or restricted to few locations. The species is therefore classified as Near Threatened.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2006 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Prosopeia personata is endemic to Fiji, occurring only on the island of Viti Levu and perhaps formerly on the nearby island of Ovalau. It is not uncommon, and surveys in 2002-2005 indicate that the total population could be in the region of 88,000 birds (Jackson and Jit 2004).

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 10500
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 11-100
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Surveys by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and BirdLife Fiji in 2002-2005 have generated much more data on this species and shown it to occur at higher population densities than previously estimated. WCS surveys estimated parrot numbers in a lowland forest site at Savura. Although there are various errors and biases in extrapolating these densities, dividing the total forest on Viti Levu into native forest, mahogany and pine plantations at various altitudes suggests that the total population could be in the region of 88,000 birds (with 95% confidence limits of 65,605-108,270).

Trend Justification:  A moderately rapid decline is suspected on the basis of the rate of habitat loss. The generation length is estimated to be five years (extrapolating from similarly sized Australian parrots). Conversion of native forest to mahogany has now largely ended and the rate of native forest loss is estimated to be c.0.5-0.8 % per year (Claasen 1991), equating to 9-12% over 15 years. In other words, forest loss likely approached 30% over the last 15 years, but has now stabilised at a lower rate.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
No. of subpopulations: 1 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: Yes
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation: 100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in forest and thick secondary growth at all altitudes (although most remaining forest is in the mountainous interior), frequently venturing into mangroves and fruiting trees in farmland and gardens (Clunie 1984, Pratt et al. 1987, Juniper and Parr 1998). However, breeding is probably restricted to mature forest only (Watling 2000). It feeds mostly on fruit, but also flowers, insects, seeds and berries, and nests in holes or a crack in a large forest tree, or a cavity in the top of a stump (Juniper and Parr 1998).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 5
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat comes from deforestation (less than 50% of Viti Levu remains forested), the resulting forest fragmentation, and the felling of large trees that are used for nesting (Juniper and Parr 1998). Over the last few decades, native forest was rapidly converted to mahogany plantations, causing significant loss of habitat for the species. This conversion has now largely ended and the rate of native forest loss is estimated to be back to the underlying level of 0.5-0.8 % per year, equating to 9-12% over 15 years (Claasen 1991, G. Dutson in litt. 2005). There is some domestic traffic, but the "red" shining-parrots (P. spendens and P. tabuensis) are more important, with probably only one in ten shining-parrots in captivity being this species (D. Watling in litt. 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It is protected under Fijian law, but existing legislation regarding the capture of wild parrots is inadequate and unenforceable (SPREP 2000). It occurs in several protected areas including Tomaniivi Nature Reserve, Koryanitu National Heritage Park, Colo-i-Suva Forest Park and the Garrick Memorial Park (D. Watling in litt. 2000).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Review existing legislation and set standards for the keeping of parrots in captivity to reduce demand (SPREP 2000). Promote the creation of community-based forest reserves. Determine its tolerance of logged forest and secondary growth. Monitor its numbers in protected sites, e.g. Koryanitu and Colo-i-Suva.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Prosopeia personata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22685035A38238229. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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