San Cristobal Dwarf-kingfisher Ceyx gentianus


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 is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats, and so the species is not thought to approach the threshold for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is also sufficiently large that 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). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
Encounter rates of this species were recorded at 30-90 birds per km2 by Buckingham et al. (1990), which would roughly equate to 20-60 mature individuals per km2, and subsequent field work on the island appears consistent with these densities (Danielsen et al. 2010, G. Dutson in litt. 2016). Therefore, conservatively assuming only a proportion of its range is occupied, the population size of this species would fall in the range 10,000-30,000 mature individuals. However, this may be an underestimate of the overall population size (per G. Dutson in litt. 2016).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable overall in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats, particularly as this species is relatively tolerant of degraded habitats (Buckingham et al. 1990; G. Dutson in litt. 2016).

Distribution and population

Restricted to the island of Makira (formerly San Cristobal), in the eastern Solomon Islands.


Occurs in forested habitats, not necessarily near watercourses and may tolerate secondary forest and plantations as noted in other Ceyx (Buckingham et al. 1990, del Hoyo et al. 2001).


The species may be affected by the ongoing loss and degradation of forest from subsistence farming and industrial logging (Danielsen et al. 2010; G. Dutson in litt. 2016), however, it is considered to be relatively tolerant of degraded habitats (Buckingham et al. 1990; G. Dutson in litt. 2016), and so these potential threats are currently not thought to be significant.

Conservation actions

Conservation and research actions underway
No targeted actions are known.

Conservation and research actions proposed
Produce a clearer population estimate for the species. Determine its precise ecological requirements and its ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats. Evaluate current and potential future threats.


c14 cm. A small, striking brilliant blue and white kingfisher restricted to Makira in the East Solomons. Hefty, all-black dagger-like bill, blue upperparts with shining ultramarine back, white lores and auricular spot. Similar species. Only Ceyx completely lacking orange in the plumage, recalling Little Kingfisher Alcedo pusilla but lacks the blue colour on the breast side and flanks.


Text account compilers
Martin, R, Symes, A., Westrip, J., Ekstrom, J., Dutson, G., Taylor, J., Butchart, S.

Dutson, G.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Ceyx gentianus. Downloaded from on 24/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/03/2023.