Moreau's Sunbird Cinnyris moreaui


Justification of Red List category
This species is classed as Near Threatened because it has a moderately small range, which is suspected to be in decline owing to the clearance and degradation of its habitat. If the range size is found to be smaller, it may qualify for uplisting to a higher threat category.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as very common (Cheke et al. 2001).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

Distribution and population

Nectarinia moreaui has a small range, being known only from the Nguru, Nguu, Uvidunda, Ukaguru and Udzungwa Mountains in Tanzania. Surveys in the Nguu and Ukaguru Mountains suggest that there are healthy numbers present (Evans and Anderson 1993, Seddon et al. 1999), and the species is locally very common in suitable habitat (Cheke and Mann 2001).


It is a bird of montane forest, occurring from 1,300 to 1,850 m at most locations (Evans and Anderson 1993, Seddon et al. 1999), but up to 2,500 m in the Udzungwas (Butynski and Ehardt 2003). It feeds on nectar from flowering creepers (Seddon et al. 1999). Its nest is a small domed purse made from leaves or dry grasses and silk from an insect's nest, with an entrance hole near the top. It is suspended from bracken, a shrub or tree at varying heights (Cheke and Mann 2001). Observations suggest breeding activity in August-December, at least (Cheke and Mann 2001).


Forests in the Nguu and Ukaguru Mountains are considered to be not immediately threatened because of their precipitous terrain and low human population density. However, the species does appear to be forest-dependent and is likely to be sensitive to destruction or degradation of forest habitat elsewhere in its limited range (Seddon et al. 1999). The driving factors for these threats are clearance for agriculture and the gathering of firewood (Cheke and Mann 2001).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs within the well-protected Udzungwa Mountains National Park (Butynski and Ehardt 2003).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain an estimate of the total population size. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat destruction and degradation across its range. Increase the area of suitable habitat that is protected.


12 cm. Small, bright sunbird of forest. Iridescent upperparts shade from pale green to deep blue. Vivid red breast with yellow surrounds, belly and vent. Very deeply curved bill. Female dull olive-brown above, paler below. Similar spp. Greater Double-collared Sunbird N. afra and Eastern Double-collared Sunbird N. mediocris have greater extent of red on breast, lack bright yellow on sides of breast. Voice Usual chirps and chips of double-collared sunbird species. Hints Confined to forest patches in Nguru Mountains, central Tanzania.


Text account compilers
Evans, M., O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Westrip, J.

Baker, N.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Cinnyris moreaui. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/moreaus-sunbird-cinnyris-moreaui on 03/10/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 03/10/2023.