Louisiade Pitta Erythropitta meeki


Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Data Deficient as there have been no definite records since the type specimen was collected in 1898; there is no reason to suspect that it has become Extinct in that time but there is not currently enough information to assess its extinction risk. If it is restricted to Rossel Island and present at similar densities to congeners, it is likely that it would qualify as Endangered based on a small, declining population.

Population justification
The population size has not been quantified.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in slow decline in line with small-scale forest loss on Rossel. Over the ten years from 2009 to 2019, approximately 2.9% of tree cover with at least 30% canopy cover was lost within the species's range (Global Forest Watch 2020).

Distribution and population

Erythropitta meeki is only known from Rossel Island, in the Lousiade Archipelago of Papua New Guinea. There have been no scientific records since the type specimen was collected in 1898 (Mayr 1941), but Rossel retains significant forest cover (Hansen et al. 2013). Four days' fieldwork at Kelembambamma in 2014 yielded no observations, but the species was known to local people, who suggested it was restricted to good forest at higher altitudes (W. Goulding in litt. 2016).


Reports from local people on Rossel suggest that the species is likely to be absent from the lowlands and restricted to good forest higher up (W. Goulding in litt. 2016).


Small-scale forest clearance (<5%) is reported from lowland areas on Rossel, but it is unclear whether the species occurs in this habitat.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey Rossel to confirm the species's presence and estimate its population. Determine the species's habitat requirements and monitor threats to its habitats.


16-18 cm. Small pitta. Relatively dull, with greyish throat. Its broad, black lower breastband is finely tipped with red.


Text account compilers
Simkins, A.

Goulding, W., Martin, R., Khwaja, N., Ekstrom, J. & Butchart, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Erythropitta meeki. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/08/2022.