Louisiade archipelago

Country/Territory Papua New Guinea
Area 1,600 km2
Altitude 0 - 1000 m
Priority urgent
Habitat loss moderate
Knowledge poor

General characteristics

Lying off the eastern tip of the Papua New Guinea mainland, the Louisiade archipelago's three main islands are Sudest (the largest and highest island at c.800 km2 and c.1,000 m), Misima and Rossel; these are volcanic, but the various smaller islands (including Alcester, to the north of the main group) are mostly coral formations.

The larger islands are forested, and, ever since the Archbold expeditions, the flora of this archipelago has been recognized as one of extreme botanical interest with high rates of local endemism, particularly at the species level (Beehler 1993).

Restricted-range species

There are few data on the restricted-range species of this EBA and it is presumed that all the endemic species occur in forest habitats.

The distributional patterns of restricted-range species within the EBA vary: Zosterops meeki, Meliphaga vicina and Cracticus louisiadensis are confined to Sudest only, Dicaeum nitidum occurs on all three of the main islands, and Myzomela albigula is present on Misima and surrounding islands and on Rossel; within this EBA, Pachycephala leucogastra is present on Rossel only, and Zosterops griseotinctus on Misima, Louisiade outliers and Alcester.

Species IUCN Category
White-chinned Myzomela (Myzomela albigula) DD
Tagula Honeyeater (Microptilotis vicina) LC
White-bellied Whistler (Pachycephala leucogastra) LC
Tagula Butcherbird (Cracticus louisiadensis) NT
Tagula White-eye (Zosterops meeki) NT
Louisiade White-eye (Zosterops griseotinctus) LC
Louisiade Flowerpecker (Dicaeum nitidum) LC

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country

Threat and conservation

The status of all the EBA's birds-and their habitat requirements-are little known, and four of the five endemics are consequently listed as Data Deficient (the highest number of Data Deficient species in any EBA).

Large-scale logging could have a devastating effect on the birds of this EBA given their small ranges and the likely reliance, for most species, on forested habitats. The forest of the eastern two-thirds of Sudest is degraded, while gold-mining has had a devastating effect on Misima (Beehler 1993, B. J. Coates in litt. 1994)

The islands have been identified as an area of important terrestrial biodiversity in Papua New Guinea by Beehler (1993).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Louisiade archipelago. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/eba/search on 06/06/2023.