Reunion Bulbul Hypsipetes borbonicus


Justification of Red List Category
The species has a small range within which habitat loss is occurring. However this is relatively slow and the population is currently considered to be increasing. This is due to conservation actions (a ban of hunting of this species; though some illegal hunting continues), and a lifting of the ban could quickly mean the species qualifies for a threatened category. Therefore, the species is listed as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The population has been estimated as either 20,500 individuals (roughly 13,700 mature individuals) or 25,000 pairs (see Salamolard 2013), although these estimates were calculated in the 1980s and so require revision.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be recovering from intense hunting pressure now that the species is protected by law, although illegal trapping still occurs (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

Distribution and population

This species is confined to the small Indian Ocean island of Réunion (to France). Tracewski et al. (2016) estimated the maximum Area of Occupancy (calculated as the remaining tree area within the species’s range) to be c.1,049.6 km2, rounded here to 1,000 km2.


This species occurs in forested habitats, particularly mixed evergreen forest, though it will occur in native Acacia forest and degraded forest (see Fishpool and Tobias 2017).


Illegal trapping still occurs (del Hoyo et al. 2005), and there is limited, slow forest loss within this species's range (see Tracewski et al. 2016). The species may also suffer from competition with the introduced Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus, and is presumably affected by Black Rats Rattus rattus (Salamolard 2013).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
There has been a ban imposed on hunting, and the population appears to be recovering, although illegal hunting does continue (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Maintain the ban on hunting, and try to limit/halt illegal hunting. Conduct surveys to get better population size and trend estimates.


Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Bird, J., Westrip, J., Symes, A., Butchart, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Hypsipetes borbonicus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/08/2022.