Rennell White-eye Zosterops rennellianus


Justification of Red List Category

Although this species may have a small range, it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km² combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population size may be small, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). The population trend is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as common (Doughty et al. 1999). Analysis based on land cover data and a population density model estimated the population size of Rennell White-eye at around 11,700 mature individuals (Santini et al. 2019). Another estimate, based on the area of the species’s mapped range, the first quartile and median recorded population densities of other Zosterops species in Asia and the Pacific, and assuming that 13-45% of the range is occupied, the species’s population size is estimated to fall within the broad range 8,800 – 75,800 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation. More evidence is needed to determine whether this qualifies as a continuing decline.

Distribution and population

Rennell White-eye is endemic to Rennell island of the Solomon Islands.


Rennell White-eyes occupy forested areas on Rennell island, particularly forest edge; they are less commonly found in regrowth and scrub (van Balen 2019). The species has a varied diet consisting of insects (including locusts (Orthoptera)), spiders (Araneae), small seeds, and a variety of fruits smaller than 0.8 cm (including Pipturus argenteus and Macaranga tanarius). The species forages within the lower and middle storeys of the forest, generally in pairs or small flocks, often on the edge of mixed-species flocks (van Balen 2019).


This species is threatened by forest loss and possibly from mining activity on the island. The extent of the effect of mining activity on the species has not been evaluated.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Proposed

Research into the extent of threats facing the species. Research into the true population size of the species.


Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Elliott, N., Butchart, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Zosterops rennellianus. Downloaded from on 26/09/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/09/2022.