Vella Lavella White-eye Zosterops vellalavella


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very small range on just one small island where it is likely to have a moderately small population. Although most of the forest on the island is either being logged or is scheduled to be logged, the species can apparently persist in degraded and logged forest, and may therefore not be declining. It is therefore currently classified as Near Threatened, but any evidence of a decline may warrant its uplisting to a higher threat category.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as common and expert opinion suggests >1000 (G. Dutson in litt. 2016).

Trend justification
The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes.

Distribution and population

Zosterops vellalavella is endemic to the small island of Vella Lavella (630 km2) in the Solomon Islands. It is very poorly known, although it has been considered common. The only count is 29 birds seen in six hours in 1998, and expert opinion suggesting >1000 (G. Dutson in litt. 2016), suggesting a small total population.


It occurs in forest, usually forest edge but also primary forest, logged forest (Gibbs 1996, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1998, Hornbuckle 1999) and in regrowth, including coconut plantations with some undergrowth and scattered old trees (Dutson 2011).


The majority of Vella Lavella has been or is scheduled to be logged and this may cause this species to decline (G. Dutson pers. obs. 1998).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Regularly monitor the population at selected sites. Protect significant areas of primary forest on Vella Lavella. Research its tolerance of logged and degraded forest.


Text account compilers
Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., North, A.

Dutson, G.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Zosterops vellalavella. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2022.