Malaita Fantail Rhipidura malaitae


Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - D1

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2023 Near Threatened D1
2016 Vulnerable D1+2
2012 Vulnerable D1+2
2008 Vulnerable D1; D2
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency high
Land-mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 2,650 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 250-999 mature individuals poor suspected 2000
Population trend unknown poor - -
Generation length 2.74 years - - -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Percentage of mature individuals in largest subpopulation 100% - - -

Population justification: This species is described as rare throughout its restricted range, with very few recent observations (Dutson 2011, Callaghan et al. 2019). It must have been locally common when the Whitney expedition collected a total of 37 specimens from each of the three mountains visited in 1930 (Mayr 1931). Subsequently, few ornithologists have visited these mountains, but the species appears to be very localised and rare. In 1990, one individual was seen at 750 m on the slopes of Mt Ire (P. Scofield in litt. 1992, 1994), in 1994, a single bird was seen at 1,100 m above Arullange village (Gibbs 1996), and in 1997, a pair was seen at 1,160 m above Arullange (G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997). None were seen in 1997 on the 940 m summit of Mt Alsa'an (G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997). Two individuals were observed during surveys of East Kwaio in 2018 (Callaghan et al. 2019). Overall there have been very few recent observations, although the species is described as being well-known to the local community and is thought to occur at at least three geographic localities (Callaghan et al. 2019). The total population is suspected to number fewer than 1,000 mature individuals, placed in the band 250-999 (G. Dutson in litt. 2000), equating to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Trend justification: There are no data on population trends, although the species appears to be recorded less frequently than in the past (Dutson 2011, Callaghan et al. 2019). It remains uncertain whether this species has declined or whether it remains locally common on mountains unvisited in recent years.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Solomon Islands extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Solomon Islands Malaita Highlands

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane major resident
Altitude 600 - 1200 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Unspecified species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Rhipidura malaitae. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/malaita-fantail-rhipidura-malaitae on 25/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 25/02/2024.