Zosterops splendidus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Zosteropidae

Scientific Name: Zosterops splendidus
Species Authority: Hartert, 1929
Common Name(s):
English Ranongga White-eye, Ganongga White-eye, Splendid White-eye
Taxonomic Notes:

Identification information: 12 cm. Small, bright, warbler-like bird. Broad silvery eye-ring contrasts with dark olive head and bright yellow underparts. Upperparts dark olive with greenish wash extending over breast-sides and fainter along flanks. Bill black and legs orange-yellow. Similar spp. Female Olive-backed Sunbird Nectarinia jugularis has long decurved bill and no eye-ring. Voice Short, simple melodic song and loud cheu contact calls. Hints Best located when singing in early morning.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Dutson, G. & Filardi, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Ekstrom, J., Mahood, S., Stattersfield, A.
This species is considered to be Vulnerable on the basis of its small, declining population. However, the estimations of population size and structure are based on very poor data. If this species is considered to have a severely fragmented range, it may need reclassifying as Endangered, conversely a higher population estimate may lead to reclassifying as Near Threatened.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Zosterops splendidus is endemic to Ranongga (= Ganongga) in the Solomon Islands. It appeared to be fairly common in most suitable habitat on three day-trips to this island in the 1990s (Gibbs 1996, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1998, Hornbuckle 1999). In 1998, 17 birds were recorded in six hours (G. Dutson pers. obs. 1998). During a two-day netting session (targeting white-eyes) in forest edge in 2004, three birds were captured across eight mist-nets; and during a two-day netting session in secondary growth adjacent to gardens in 2005, six birds were captured across six mist-nets (C. Filardi in litt. 2012). This approximates to a total population of a few thousand birds if the habitat visited was representative of the overall island.

Countries occurrence:
Solomon Islands
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 150
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend Justification:  There are no data on population trends; however, it is suspected to be in decline, owing to forest loss and degradation.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 2500-9999 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 appears to be common in forest and forest edge, but also old-growth forest and regrowth and thickets with scattered old trees (Gibbs 1996, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1998, Dutson 2011). As with the allopatric Ghizo White-eye Z. luteirostris, it may be able to tolerate a wide range of degraded natural habitats. However, observations in 1998 suggested it may not survive in cleared and scrubby habitats far away from forest or without remnant large trees (G. Dutson pers. obs. 1998). It sometimes feeds in flowers of coconuts (Dutson 2011).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 3.5
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Forest is largely restricted to steep slopes and rocky, hilly areas on Ranongga and is slowly being cleared for gardens. Gardens are used to grow food for the nearby urban market of Ghizo as well as for Ranongga villages. However, following the tsunami in 2007, the island has been raised by c.2 m, providing suitable areas for gardening that were previously underwater (C. Filardi in litt. 2012). Much of the remaining forest is on terrain unsuitable for gardening, although trees are likely to be felled for local timber demand (G. Dutson pers. obs. 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
There are some community-based conservation projects on Ranongga.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Map forest habitats on Ranongga. Assess rates and causes of forest clearance. Calculate relative population densities in various habitats. Monitor number of singing males in discrete forest blocks or village areas. Assess breeding success in secondary habitats. Support sustainable forest-use programmes. Coordinate all conservation action through public awareness discussions. Publicise this species as endemic to Ranongga.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Zosterops splendidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22714180A39644939. . Downloaded on 26 May 2016.
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