Red-headed Parrotfinch Erythrura cyaneovirens


Justification of Red List Category
This species is classified as Near Threatened on the basis of a moderately small estimated population, comprised of very small, island subpopulations, and declining through forest loss and degradation.

Population justification
The global population size of the pre-lump E. regia likely fell in the range 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of range size, known records, and descriptions of abundance, with less than 1,000 mature individuals per sub-population. However, the Samoan populations of the newly defined E. cyaneovirens are widespread, if uncommon (Payne 2016). Based on known records, population density estimates of congeners and closely related species, and assuming only a proportion of its range is occupied, the Samoan sub-population sizes are likely more than 1,000 mature individuals, and the global population of the newly defined species possibly may be greater than 10,000 mature individuals. Therefore, it is placed here in the range of 10,000-19,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline as a result of habitat loss in at least part of its range.

Distribution and population

Erythrura cyaneovirens is found in Samoa in native, closed-canopy or degraded forest, and in Vanuatu in predominantly closed-canopy forest (Payne 2016).


In Samoa it favours native, closed-canopy or degraded forest, and in Vanuatu it is found in predominantly closed-canopy forest (Payne 2016).


In Vanuatu the population is under threat from habitat loss as forest is cleared for logging and gardens on islands with large human populations (Bregulla 1992). Large-scale weather events may also impact upon sub-populations, with cyclones of 1990-1991 significantly affecting the Samoan sub-populations (Payne 2016).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in the proposed Lake Letas Reserve on Gaua (SPREP 2000). Local people have prevented people catching the species for the bird trade in the past on Tongoa, in the hope that the birds' presence will attract ecotourists (Totterman in litt. 2007).  It has been successfully bred, apparently widely, in captivity.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey islands with old records. Survey Tongoa and Emae to assess population densities. Survey Santo mountains to assess approximate population densities. Determine tolerance of logged forest and use of fig trees in parkland habitats. Investigate requirement for certain fig species. Investigate feeding and breeding ecology for use in habitat management plans. Ascertain rate of forest loss across range. Investigate any trapping for trade, especially on Tongoa and Emae. Monitor numbers at known sites on Tongoa and Emae. Advocate creation of forest reserves on each major island. Support establishment and management of Lake Letas Reserve. Promote ecotourism initiatives involving this species on Tongoa.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Westrip, J.

Totterman, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Erythrura cyaneovirens. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2020.