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Moreau's Sunbird Nectarinia moreaui
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is classed as Near Threatened because it has a moderately small range, which is suspected to be in decline owing to the clearance and degradation of its habitat. If the range size is found to be smaller, it may qualify for uplisting to a higher threat category.

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

Taxonomic note
Nectarinia loveridgei and N. moreaui (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) are retained as species contra Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993) who include moreaui as a subspecies of N. loveridgei.

12 cm. Small, bright sunbird of forest. Iridescent upperparts shade from pale green to deep blue. Vivid red breast with yellow surrounds, belly and vent. Very deeply curved bill. Female dull olive-brown above, paler below. Similar spp. Greater Double-collared Sunbird N. afra and Eastern Double-collared Sunbird N. mediocris have greater extent of red on breast, lack bright yellow on sides of breast. Voice Usual chirps and chips of double-collared sunbird species. Hints Confined to forest patches in Nguru Mountains, central Tanzania.

Distribution and population
Nectarinia moreaui has a small range, being known only from the Nguru, Nguu, Uvidunda, Ukaguru and Udzungwa Mountains in Tanzania. Surveys in the Nguu and Ukaguru Mountains suggest that there are healthy numbers present (Evans and Anderson 1993, Seddon et al. 1999), and the species is locally very common in suitable habitat (Cheke and Mann 2001).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as very common (Cheke et al. 2001).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

It is a bird of montane forest, occurring from 1,300 to 1,850 m at most locations (Evans and Anderson 1993, Seddon et al. 1999), but up to 2,500 m in the Udzungwas (Butynski in press). It feeds on nectar from flowering creepers (Seddon et al. 1999). Its nest is a small domed purse made from leaves or dry grasses and silk from an insect's nest, with an entrance hole near the top. It is suspended from bracken, a shrub or tree at varying heights (Cheke and Mann 2001). Observations suggest breeding activity in August-December, at least (Cheke and Mann 2001).

Forests in the Nguu and Ukaguru Mountains are considered to be not immediately threatened because of their precipitous terrain and low human population density. However, the species does appear to be forest-dependent and is likely to be sensitive to destruction or degradation of forest habitat elsewhere in its limited range (Seddon et al. 1999). The driving factors for these threats are clearance for agriculture and the gathering of firewood (Cheke and Mann 2001).

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs within the well-protected Udzungwa Mountains National Park (Butynski in press). Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain an estimate of the total population size. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat destruction and degradation across its range. Increase the area of suitable habitat that is protected.

Britton, P. L. 1980. Birds of East Africa. East Africa Natural History Society, Nairobi.

Cheke, R. A.; Mann, C. F.; Allen, R. 2001. Sunbirds: a guide to the sunbirds, flowerpeckers, spiderhunters and sugarbirds of the world. Christopher Helm, London.

Dowsett, R. J. 1986. Origins of the high-altitude avifaunas of tropical Africa. In: Vuilleumier, F.; Monasterio, M. (ed.), High altitude tropical biogeography, pp. 557-585. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Dowsett, R. J.; Dowsett-Lemaire, F. 1993. Comments on the taxonomy of some Afrotropical bird species. In: Dowsett, R.J.; Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (ed.), A contribution to the distribution and taxonomy of Afrotropical and Malagasy birds, pp. 323-389. Tauraco Press, Liège, Belgium.

Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Liège, Belgium.

Evans, T. D.; Anderson, G. Q. A. 1993. Results of an ornithological survey in the Ukaguru and East Usambara mountains, Tanzania. Scopus 17: 40-47.

Hall, B. P.; Moreau, R. E. 1970. An atlas of speciation in African passerine birds. British Museum (Natural History), London.

Mackworth-Praed, C. W.; Grant, C. H. B. 1973. African handbook of birds series 3 vol. 2: Birds of West Central and Western Africa. Longman Group Ltd, London.

Seddon, N.; Ekstrom, J. M. M.; Capper, D. R.; Isherwood, I. S.; Muna, R.; Pople, R. G.; Tarimo, E.; Timothy, J. 1999. Notes on the ecology and conservation status of key bird species in Nilo and Nguu North Forest Reserves, Tanzania. Bird Conservation International 9: 9-28.

Seddon, N.; Ekstrom, J. M. M.; Capper, D. R.; Isherwood, I. S.; Muna, R.; Pople, R. G.; Tarimo, E.; Timothy, J. 1999. The importance of the Nilo and Nguu North Forest Reserves for the conservation of montane forest birds in Tanzania. Biological Conservation 87: 59-72.

Short, L. L.; Horne, J.; Muringo-Gichuki, C. 1990. Annotated checklist of the birds of east Africa. Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, Los Angeles, California.

Stuart, S. N.; Jensen, F. P.; Brogger-Jensen, S. 1987. Altitudinal zonation of the avifauna in Mwanihana and Magombera Forests, eastern Tanzania. Le Gerfaut 77: 165-186.

White, C. M. N. 1965. A revised checklist of African non-passerine birds. Government Printer, Lusaka.

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
Evans, M., O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Baker, N.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Nectarinia moreaui. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Nectariniidae (Sunbirds)
Species name author (Sclater, 1933)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 29,700 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change