Pohnpei Cicadabird Edolisoma insperatum


Justification of Red List Category
This species is estimated to have a small population that is inferred to be undergoing a continuing decline due to the loss of original habitat within its very restricted range. For this reason Pohnpei Cicadabird is evaluated as Endangered.

Population justification
The global population size was estimated at 2,060 birds in 1983 (Engbring et al. 1990), but since that time a large proportion of native forest has been lost from the island. Surveys in 2012 only recorded the species eight times from 247 widely distributed survey stations (Oleiro and Kesler unpubl. report), and generally reported decreases in forest associated species. It is therefore estimated that the population is no higher than 2,060 individuals, or 1,373 mature individuals. The population is therefore placed in the band 1,000-2,499 mature individuals.

Trend justification
This species is inferred to be declining owing to ongoing forest loss and degradation from agricultural expansion and development (Oleiro and Kesler 2015). The likely rate of this decline has not been quantified.

Distribution and population

Edolisoma inseperatum is endemic to the island of Pohnpei in the eastern Caroline Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (Engbring et al. 1990; Taylor 2016).


The species has been recorded in mangrove and evergreen forest habitat up to 800 m, and appears to be associated largely with primary habitats on the island (Oleiro and Kesler 2015).


Overall, there was a reduction of undisturbed upland forest on Pohnpei of over 60% from 1975 to 1995 (Buden 1996, 2000; B. Raynor in litt. 1995, 2012). The majority of the island's forests have been to various degrees converted or at least degraded to mixed forest (native species mixed with lowland secondary species), largely attributable to the cultivation of sakau (= kava) Piper methysticum as a major cash-crop (B. Raynor in litt. 2012). The fragmentation of such forest by sakau clearings also introduces and encourages the spread of invasive species in isolated areas throughout the forest. Although efforts over the past 20 years to reduce the amount of clear-cutting for sakau plantations have resulted in the slowing of native forest conversion rates, the trend remains negative (B. Raynor in litt. 2012). Anthropogenic processes underpinning the forest loss and degradation are likely to continue or even increase in the future, as there are plans for the development of resorts and a reservoir on the island (Oleiro and Kesler 2015).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Campaigns have been successful at reducing forest clearance for agriculture by encouraging cultivation at lower elevations, 'grow low' (Buden 2000). However, there has been resistance to the latter because sakau grows better on wet mountain slopes and crops are likely to be safer in more remote areas (Buden 2000).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain an up-to-date population estimate. Monitor trends in the species's population and land use patterns on Pohnpei. Increase the area of primary forest that is protected. Encourage management practices that preserve large trees with holes and cavities and large Xylocarpus mangroves (Engbring et al. 1990).


25 cm. A slender-bodied sexually-dimorphic cicadabird where the slate-grey male much resembles E. nesiotis, but the female is much different being largely a rich uniform chestnut colour,


Text account compilers
Clark, J.

Butchart, S., Dutson, G., Ekstrom, J., Martin, R. & Raynor, B.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Edolisoma insperatum. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/10/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/10/2022.