Reunion Starling Fregilupus varius


Justification of Red List Category
This species was known from the island of Réunion, but it became Extinct in the 1850s. Introduced disease and various forms of human disturbance are likely to have contributed to its decline.

Population justification
No extant population remains.

Distribution and population

Fregilupus varius was endemic to Réunion (to France). It was described by most visitors to the island from 1669 onwards, and was apparently common as late as the 1830s (Cheke 1987). However, the last specimen was shot in 1837, and the species became extinct between 1850 and 1860. Nineteen specimens survive (Berger 1957).


Nothing is known, although it is likely to have been a forest species.


Reasons for its extinction are unclear but may possibly be due to an introduced disease, combined with changing population pressure due to the emancipation of slaves in 1848, forest fires, drought and deforestation (Cheke 1987). It has been described as tame and easy to knock down with sticks, so hunting may have also played a part.


Text account compilers
Brooks, T., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Fregilupus varius. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/03/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/03/2020.