Palau Kingfisher Todiramphus pelewensis


Justification of Red List Category
This newly-split kingfisher is endemic to a small island archipelago, where it is susceptible to the potential introduction of an invasive snake which would likely cause rapid population declines and result in the species qualifying as Vulnerable or Endangered within one to two generations. The current population size and trends are uncertain; better information on this species is urgently needed, and may result in its reclassification.

Population justification
The population size has not been quantified owing to recent taxonomic splits.

Trend justification
There is apparently no evidence of declines.

Distribution and population

Todiramphus cinnamominus is endemic to the islands of the Palau archipelago. It was described as absent from small islands, but still quite common on well-wooded large ones (Fry and Fry 1999), however it has since been suggested that this is not the case and that the species is scarce, difficult to find, and far less numerous than T. chloris teraokai (H. D. Pratt in litt. 2014).


The species occurs in a fairly wide variety of habitats throughout the island of Guam, including the edges of mangroves, wooded coastal lowlands, coconut palms and mixed upland forest and also large gardens with plenty of timber (Fry and Fry 1999, del Hoyo et al. 2001).


The accidental introduction of alien predators such as brown tree-snake Boiga irregularis remains a potential threat, but the species’s wide distribution in the archipelago may limit the likely impacts of such an event. There have likely been historical losses owing to the conversion of native forest.

Conservation actions

Conservation and research actions underway
No targeted actions are known.

Conservation and research actions proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain an up-to-date population estimate. Monitor trends in the species's population and land use patterns. Increase the area of primary forest that is protected. Encourage management practices that preserve suitable nesting trees.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Pratt, H. & Buchholz, P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Todiramphus pelewensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/12/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/12/2019.