Blue-black Kingfisher Todiramphus nigrocyaneus


Justification of Red List Category

This species is known from New Guinea and adjacent islands, and is everywhere rare and localised. The increasing numbers of records, along with data on habitat loss and degradation, suggest that it has a small population and perhaps very small subpopulations undergoing an ongoing slow decline. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened.

Population justification

This species has a patchy distribution across a wide range and is usually rare or uncommon. The population size is precuationarily assessed as <10,000 mature individuals (G. Dutson in litt. 2016). The subpopulations are even less well known but the largest might approach <1,000 mature individuals (G. Dutson in litt. 2016).

Trend justification

The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction. Across the mainland coastal provinces of Papua New Guinea, 1.3% forest was lost plus 2.5% was logged between 2002 and 2014 (Bryan and Shearman 2015). Although the species' tolerance of logged forest is not known, all records appear to have been from old-growth forest, and its rate of population decline is assessed as 1-9% in three generations (14 years).

Distribution and population

Todiramphus nigrocyaneus is a little-known species of New Guinea (Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea) and the adjacent islands of Salawati, Batanta and Yapen.


It is known from few scattered records from streams, swamps and ponds in forest to 600 m (Coates 1985, Beehler and Pratt 2016) and also in alluvial forest near sago palm forest and in mangroves (I. Woxvold pers. comm. per G. Dutson in litt. 2016). There appear to be no records from logged forest but there have been few surveys in suitable habitat. It feeds on lizards, crabs and fish (Pratt and Beehler 2015).


It may be threatened by logging, particularly of lowland swamp forests, and the consequential decline in water quality.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey potentially suitable habitats for the species. Study its ecological requirements and threats.


Text account compilers
Westrip, J., Derhé, M., North, A., Dutson, G., Symes, A., Shutes, S.

Burrows, I., Dutson, G., Woxvold, I.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Todiramphus nigrocyaneus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/01/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/01/2020.