Norfolk Robin Petroica multicolor


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very small population size, restricted to Norfolk Island, and has been precautionarily assessed as being in decline. Therefore, the species is listed as Endangered.

Population justification
The population was estimated at between 400-500 pairs in 1988 (Robinson 1988 cited in Garnett et al. 2011). This is anticipated to have declined subsequently, hence the population is considered to presently be below 1,000 mature individuals, all in a single subpopulation.

Trend justification
While the population has been mentioned as appearing ‘secure’ since 1997, and this may be the case as inside the National Park there has been little change since that time, there also have not been sufficient monitoring efforts anywhere to reliably gauge the trend. The anecdotal evidence provided in Garnett et al. (2011) in fact suggests that there may be an ongoing decline outside the park and the population was classified on a precautionary basis to be declining.

Distribution and population

This species is endemic to Norfolk Island (to Australia), where it is now largely restricted to the National Park (Garnett et al. 2011). On the island, the area of occurrence (AOO) has been estimated to be 8km2, with the species having been lost from the majority of the island (Garnett et al. 2011). Outside the park the population may have numbered up to 100 pairs in the 1980s (Department of the Environment 2016), but Garnett et al. (2011) reported the absence of birds from recently occupied sites in the first decade of this century.


It inhabits mature rainforest, occasionally palm and introduced olive (Olea) stands, rarely exotic eucalypt (Eucalyptus) forest. It prefers forest no taller than 10 m, with rather open ground layer and a deep moist leaf litter (Boles and Sharpe 2016).


Historically there has been extensive clearance for timber, cultivation, pasture and continued development. Ongoing threats include invasive rats, cats and exotic vegetation, which are all still present on the island (although subject to control measures over part of the island).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
This species occurs in the National Park on Norfolk Island.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Garnett et al. (2011) propose a range of actions, such as continuing habitat restoration, rat baiting and cat trapping and providing incentives and information for habitat restoration on private land. Also, investigate the effectiveness of weed control on the island, and rat and cat baiting/trapping strategies, monitor populations, and introduce the species to Phillip Island, when habitat is suitable (Garnett et al. 2011).


Text account compilers
Symes, A., Westrip, J., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Wheatley, H.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Petroica multicolor. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/05/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/05/2020.