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Rotuma Myzomela Myzomela chermesina
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is considered Vulnerable because it has a tiny range and is therefore at risk from stochastic events and human impacts, such as the establishment of introduced predators.

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

9 cm. Tiny, sexually dimorphic honeyeater. Male is black with bright red mantle, rump, throat, breast and flanks. Female has less red on mantle, dull brownish-black underparts with faint red wash on throat and upper breast, and stronger red wash on lower breast and upper belly. Immature male similar to female but more red on throat and less on breast. Immature female duller with pale cinnamon or rufous wash on underparts.

Distribution and population
Myzomela chermesina is endemic to Rotuma and offshore islets (including uninhabited Uea), Fiji. There are no population estimates but, in 1985 and 1992, it was common (Clunie 1985, D. Watling in litt. 2000).

Population justification
The global population has been estimated to number 10,000-19,999 mature individuals by Clunie (1985) and D. Watling in litt. (2000). This equates to 15,000-29,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 15,000-30,000 individuals.

Trend justification
No data are available to allow assessment of population trends; while the population is assumed to be stable this assertion warrants further investigation as a number of potential threats exist and may already be impacting upon the population.

It occurs in all habitats on the main island, including forest edge and plantations. It is primarily nectivorous but is also strongly insectivorous for a myzomela (Clunie 1984, Clunie 1985, D. Watling in litt. 2000).

Nearly all native forest on Rotuma has long since been cleared for shifting cultivation and plantations - however, there is extensive secondary bush (Clunie 1984), and the species appears to tolerate this habitat. Its abundance and wide habitat tolerance reduces its risk from the affects of cyclones, and none in the last ten years have been serious (D. Watling in litt. 2007). Pacific rat Rattus exulans is already present (Clunie 1985), and black rat R. rattus is perhaps present (V. Masibalavu in litt 2007), the introduction of further alien predators is a potential future threat.

Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Fijian law. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct a baseline survey of the species to produce a population estimate. Collect information on its feeding and breeding requirements. Assess populations on all offshore islets. Investigate connectivity between populations on the main island and offshore islets. Investigate the affect of rats on the population. Advocate strong quarantine controls to prevent the establishment of exotic predators. Promote the species as a figurehead for conservation on Rotuma.

Clunie, F. 1984. Birds of the Fiji bush. Fiji Museum, Suva.

Clunie, F. 1985. Notes on the bats and birds of Rotuma. Domodomo 3(4): 153-160.

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.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Derhé, M., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Stattersfield, A.

Masibalavu, V., Watling, D.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Myzomela chermesina. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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 - Rotuma myzomela (Myzomela chermesina) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Meliphagidae (Honeyeaters)
Species name author Gray, 1846
Population size 10000-19999 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 43 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species