Justification of Red List Category
This species is restricted to a single subpopulation on the island of Viti Levu and qualifies as Vulnerable because recent surveys have shown that even though it has a larger population than previously estimated, the population is still small, and declining owing to habitat loss.
During 108.5 km of standardised transects, six individuals were recorded within 10 m of the observer, giving a density of 2.8 birds/km2, but this figure is based on very little data and should be treated with considerable caution. The species was recorded at 60% (8/13) of recent survey sites on Viti Levu but these sites were pre-selected to have the densest old-growth forest, suggesting that the species's area of occupancy may be up to 2,400 km2 (60% x 4,000 km2 of high- and medium-density rainforest on Viti Levu). This implies that total numbers of mature individuals falls in the band 2,500-9,999 (unpublished data from Fiji IBA project via G. Dutson in litt. 2005). This roughly equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.
Although there are no new data on population trends, the species is suspected to be declining at a slow to moderate rate owing to habitat loss.
Erythrura kleinschmidti is endemic to Viti Levu, Fiji, where it has always been considered rare, though may only be unobtrusive and patchily distributed (Clunie 1984). All records are from the wetter centre and east of Viti Levu (N. Bostock in litt. 2000, Watling 2000, D. Watling in litt. 2000), where recent surveys suggest that the species is widespread at low densities (D. Liley in litt. 2005). There have been incidental reports that the species is more frequently encountered than previously (i.e. five years ago) at some sites (Sovi Basin, Monasavu and Tomaniivi), but these are not confirmed (V. Masibalavu in litt. 2012). A provisional population density of 2.8 birds/km2 was recently estimated. The species was recorded at 60% (8/13) of recent survey sites on Viti Levu but these sites were pre-selected to have the densest old-growth forest. A provisional population size of 2,500-10,000 mature individuals has been estimated (G. Dutson in litt. 2005, D. Liley in litt. 2005).
It is mainly found in mature, wet forest up to 1,000 m, although there are records from secondary scrub and plantations. It has even been recorded breeding at the edge of secondary forest, but is nevertheless regarded as dependent on mature forest (Watling 2000). It feeds at mid-height along tree-trunks and branches, usually alone or in pairs but also joining mixed-species flocks, feeding primarily on insects, but also flower buds and fruit (Watling 1982, Pratt et al. 1987). Juveniles have been observed in August-September and January-February (Clunie 1984). It may be nomadic, as other parrotfinches, but repeated observation in the same spots suggests that it could be sedentary.
On Viti Levu, only c.50% of the island remains forested (Watling 2000) and there is ongoing, small-scale logging and clearance for agriculture. The most reliable site, Joske's Thumb, was logged in the early 1980s with a dramatic decline in the number of sightings (D. Watling in litt. 2000).
Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Fijian law. It has been recorded in the protected watershed forest near Suva.
11 cm. Robust, greenish finch with outsized bill. Olive-green with black face, bluish crown and nape and red rump. Conspicuously large, glossy-pink bill. Immature birds similar but duller, having orange-horn bill with black tip. Similar spp. Fiji Parrotfinch E. pealii is smaller and brighter green with much smaller, dark bill (though immatures have horn-coloured bill). Voice Little known other than a high-pitched chee-chee and a clicking sound. Hints Search any undisturbed mature forest in central and east Viti Levu, such as Joske's Thumb near Suva.
Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Derhé, M., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Stattersfield, A., Temple, H.
Dutson, G., Liley, D., Masibalavu, V., Bostock, N., Watling, D.
BirdLife International (2017) Species factsheet: Erythrura kleinschmidti. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/11/2017. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2017) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/11/2017.