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Blue Lorikeet Vini peruviana
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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.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

18 cm. Chunky lorikeet mostly very dark blue (often looks black) with white cheeks and bib. Red bill, eyes and feet. Voice Very high-pitched hissing screech scheee-scheee, usually doubled.

Distribution and population
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 (1,000), Rangiroa (1,000), 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 1,000 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.1,400 birds on Aitutaki (Jennings 2011) obtained through distance sampling.

Population justification
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.

Trend justification
There are few data on population trends; however, the species has been gradually lost from each island where cats, black rats or Swamp Harriers have colonised. A slow to moderate population decline is therefore suspected.

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).

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 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).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

Collar, N. J. 1997. Psittacidae (Parrots). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 280-477. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Holyoak, D. T.; Thibault, J. -C. 1984. Contribution à l'étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Memoires du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle - Serie A: Zoologie 127: 1-209.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Jennings, K. 2011. The impact of Cyclone Pat on the Blue Lorikeet (Vini peruviana) population of Aitutaki, Cook Islands. MSc Biodiversity & Conservation, University of Leeds.

Lovegrove, R.; Mann, I.; Morgan, G.; Williams, I. 1989. Tuamotu Islands expedition March-April 1989: report of an expedition to ascertain the status of Red Data Book species in the Tuamotu Archipelago (French Polynesia).

McCormack, G. 1997. Cook Islands: an oceanic oasis. World Birdwatch 19: 13-16.

Pratt, H. D.; Bruner, P. L.; Berrett, D. G. 1987. A field guide to the birds of Hawaii and the tropical Pacific. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Raust, P.; Ziembicki, M. 2006. Situation stable pour les Vini peruviana des Tuamotu. Te Manu 54: 4-5.

Thibault, J. -C.; Guyot, I. 1987. Recent changes in the avifauna of Makatea Island (Tuamotus, Central Pacific). Atoll Research Bulletin 300: 1-13.

Wilson, K.-J. 1993. Observations of the Kurämoó (Vini peruviana) on Aitutaki Island, Cook Islands. Notornis 40: 71-5.

Further web sources of information
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Text account compilers
Derhé, M., Harding, M., O'Brien, A., Shutes, S. & Stattersfield, A.

Pilgrim, J. & Gouni, A.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Vini peruviana. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

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 - Blue lorikeet (Vini peruviana) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author (M
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,700 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species