email a friend
printable version
VU
Henderson Lorikeet Vini stepheni

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.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Identification
18 cm. Red-and-green parakeet. Dark green above shading to golden-yellow tip of tail. Red on cheeks and underparts, dark purple central belly. Belt across chest green at sides, purple in centre. Golden-yellow bill and eyes. Voice A shrill screech.

Distribution and population
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.

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

Trend justification
Although no new data are available on population trends, the entire range of the species is well protected and no new threats are suspected. Hence, the species is suspected to be stable.

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).

Threats
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 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.


Related state of the world's birds case studies

References
Collar, N. J.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2013. Conservation breeding and avian diversity: chances and challenges. International Zoo Yearbook.

Graves, G. R. 1992. The endemic land birds of Henderson Island, southeastern Polynesia: notes on natural history and conservation. Wilson Bulletin 104: 32-43.

Trevelyan, R. 1995. The feeding ecology of Stephen's Lory and nectar availability in its food plants. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 56: 185-197.

Waldren, S.; Florence, J.; Chepstow-Lusty, A. J. 1995. Rare and endemic vascular plants of the Pitcairn Islands, south-central Pacific Ocean: a conservation appraisal. Biological Conservation 74: 83-98.

Text account compilers
Mahood, S., Shutes, S., Stattersfield, A., Derhé, M.

Contributors
Brooke, M., Hall, J., Bell, B.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Vini stepheni. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/07/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Stephen’s lorikeet (Vini stepheni) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author (North, 1908)
Population size 480-1200 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 41 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species