Manus Dwarf-kingfisher Ceyx dispar


Justification of Red List Category
This species is confined to the island of Manus where it is suspected of having a moderately small population. Its habitat requirements are poorly known but is suspected of being at least partially forest dependent, as are other Ceyx kingfishers. Forest loss on Manus is ongoing, albeit at a slow rate, and the island hosts no protected areas, so that such losses are projected to continue into the future. For these reasons, Manus Dwarf-kingfisher is listed as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The population size has not been estimated following recent taxonomic splits, but the species occurs at low densities (G. Dutson in litt. 2012) and the overall population is presumed to be moderately small. On neighbouring New Guinea, C. solitarius has been recorded at densities of 10 birds/km2 (Bell 1982). Approximately 1,700 km2 of forest cover remained on Manus in 2021; consequently, assuming a comparable density and an occupancy rate of 10–50%, the population is inferred to be 1,700–8,500 birds, or 1,100–5,600 mature individuals, with a best estimate of 2,500–5,000 mature individuals. Confirmation and clarification on this total is urgently needed.

Trend justification

The island of Manus is rarely visited by ornithologists, hence a direct population decline has never been elucidated. However, the population is suspected to be slowly declining on the basis of forest loss on the island, the rate of which is estimated at c.2% over the past ten years (data from Global Forest Watch 2022, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein).

Distribution and population

The species is restricted to the island of Manus in the Admiralty Islands, north-west Bismark Archipelago, Papua New Guinea.


The species occurs in forested habitats, not necessarily near watercourses, and may tolerate secondary forest and plantations as noted in other Ceyx.


The rate of forest cover loss recorded through satellite monitoring has been slow in the past two decades, and over the past decade is estimated at c.2% (Global Forest Watch 2022, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). This species' dependence on forest is improperly understood but, like other Ceyx, is expected to require some canopy such that the rate of forest cover loss is thought to be broadly representative of population declines.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species and Manus has no formally protected areas.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys throughout the species' range to determine its current status and assess population trends. Conduct ecological studies to identify its precise habitat requirements and response to habitat degradation or fragmentation. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status and safeguard against logging and agricultural encroachment.


14 cm. Small sexually dimorphic blue and orange kingfisher with a bright orange bill. The head of the male is largely royal blue, with a small white patch behind the ear coverts, orange lores and a white throat. In contrast the female has most of the head orange, with blue restricted to the rear crown, below the white spot behind the ear coverts and variably in the moustachial region. Both sexes have strong orange underparts and blue upperparts, with a paler, bright blue dorsal stripe. Similar species. Male is very similar to C. collectoris of New Georgia, but the latter is not sexually dimorphic. C. solitarius of New Guinea has an all dark bill, and C. sacerdotis of New Britain has a dark upper mandible.


Text account compilers
Berryman, A.

Dutson, G.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Ceyx dispar. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/03/2023.