Cocos Finch Pinaroloxias inornata


Justification of Red List Category
Although its high tolerance of degraded habitats suggests that this species is unaffected by the impact of introduced herbivores on forested areas, it is listed as Vulnerable because it has a very small range and is thus susceptible to chance catastrophes.

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
There do not appear to be any significant threats to this species, so its population is suspected to be stable.

Distribution and population

Pinaroloxias inornata is endemic to Cocos Island, c.500 km from Costa Rica, where it is the most common landbird (Slud 1967). It is abundant in the lowlands and sparser at higher altitude.


It occupies every available habitat on the island, including Hibiscus thickets along coasts, woodland, open country and closed-canopy forest (Smith and Sweatman 1976, Sherry 1985, Stiles and Skutch 1989), and is common in disturbed vegetation (Slud 1967). It is a generalist (Smith and Sweatman 1976), but individual birds usually specialise in one or a few of the various foraging techniques employed by the species as a whole (Stiles and Skutch 1989). Nesting occurs throughout the year, but is mostly concentrated in January-May (Stiles and Skutch 1989).


Rats and cats are potential predators, and grazing by feral deer, pigs and goats degrades natural habitats on the island. There is also low-level disturbance from increasing tourism. However, none of these appears to have adverse affects.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Cocos Island is a national park. No targeted actions are known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Assess the size of the population. Study the impact of introduced mammals, and factors that may affect the species's abundance.


12 cm. Dark, slender-billed and chunky finch. Male black. Female blackish-brown above, indistinctly streaked olive-brown. Sometimes extensively buffy forehead, lores and eyebrow. Buffish wing-bars. Buff underparts streaked black, paler on belly. Immature as female, but with yellow bill. Voice Prolonged and buzzy song, rising at the end, and often preceded by piercing, metallic note. Calls include burry and rough djrr, and whistled tyew.


Text account compilers
Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Pinaroloxias inornata. Downloaded from on 22/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2021.