Papuan Swiftlet Aerodramus papuensis


Justification of Red List Category
This species is known from only a handful of specimens and may be unidentifiable in the field. Although it may be locally common, there is no information on its likely distribution extent, population size, trends or threats. For these reasons, it is classified as Data Deficient.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as locally common (del Hoyo et al. 1999).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Distribution and population

This species is known from a handful of specimens from New Guinea (Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea). Specimens are known from the Idenburg River (where flocks of up to 30 birds were recorded), northern Snow Mountains, around Jayapura and one taken in 1993 from a cave in the Hindenburg Range. There are unconfirmed sight records across northern Papua New Guinea to the Huon Peninsula but this species may be unidentifiable in the field (Coates 1985, Beehler et al. 1986, Rowland 1994).


Its ecological requirements are unknown and it has been recorded from sea-level to 2,400 m (Beehler and Pratt 2016). Feeding parties of 20-30 individuals have been seen both high in the air, feeding low over marshes and lagoons (Pratt and Beehler 2015, Beehler and Pratt 2016).


The population, status and threats to this species cannot be assessed on present knowledge.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey historical locations and potentially suitable habitats for the species. Study its ecological requirements and threats. Clarify field identification criteria.


Text account compilers
Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Symes, A. & North, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Aerodramus papuensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 08/12/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 08/12/2021.