Red-throated Lorikeet (Charmosyna aureicincta)

Red-throated Lorikeet

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Charmosyna aureicincta | [authority] Ramsay, 1875 | [UK] Red-throated Lorikeet | [FR] Lori a gorge rouge | [DE] Rothoschen | [ES] Lori Gorgirrojo | [NL] Roodkeellori | [copyright picture] Birdlife


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Charmosyna aureicincta PO Fiji Islands


The genus Charmosyna comprises 14 species distributed from Buru Island (Indonesia) in the west through Irian Jaya, Papua New Guinea, Bismark Archipelago, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Santa Cruz islands and New Caledonia. The red-throated lorikeet in Fiji represents the eastern-most range of this genus. There is little information on most species of Charmosyna, they are notoriously difficult to find and characteristically inhabit mountainous regions with high rainfall. Seven species are in the IUCN Red List (2000). The New Caledonian lorikeet is known only from two specimens collected in 1859 and an observation in 1913 and recent attempts to locate it have failed. The blue-fronted lorikeet C. toxopei is only definitively known from seven specimens collected in the 1920s. Recent attempts to locate it failed and recent sightings are considered uncertain. Reasons for the decline and rarity of Charmosyna lorikeets are cited variously as small populations and restricted range, habitat destruction and degradation, avian malaria, cyclones and invasive species.

Physical charateristics

A delicate, long-tailed green lorikeet with a red throat bordered below with yellow, red thighs and a yellow-tipped tail. Some tail feathers have inner webs marked with crimson patches. The sexes are similar and have an orange bill and legs. Immature birds have purplish-brown thighs and the plumage and red throat is duller.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 18 cm size max.: 19 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Pacific Ocean : Fiji Islands. Historically, its distribution included the islands of Viti Levu, Taveuni and Ovalau and it is characteristically associated with mature old-growth native forest at altitudes above 500 m. Evidence from historical records suggest that the population has declined. There have been few sightings since the 1970s, most of which have been in Viti levu on the Nadrau plateau and around Mt. Tomaniivi, where the last confirmed sighting occurred in 1993. It is not known if the species still survives on Ovalau and Taveuni, and its historical and current presence on Vanua Levu is uncertain. No birds were observed during three months of field observations in Viti Levu and Taveuni from November 2001 to April 2002, suggesting that the species may be more rare than previously believed.


It is found in mature forests and may be reliant on old-growth forest above 500 m. However, its altitudinal restriction on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu is probably artificial, reflecting the absence of “good” forest, except at higher elevations. On Ovalau, it has been observed in mangroves. It is usually found in small flocks high in the canopy feeding on nectar and pollen from flowering trees, and is probably nomadic in search of flowering trees. Its breeding ecology is unknown.


There are no breeding records

Feeding habits

The species is a nectar and pollen feeder, and may suddenly appear at a flowering tree, in a small flock (recently two to eight birds) and making a lot of noise. Birds restlessly move between flowers in the canopy, hanging upside down or in any position to get at the nectar, and have a preference for brightly coloured (red, yellow or white) flowers with filamentous pistils, such as vuga Metrosideros collina, and drala Erythrina sp.. They may feed alongside wattled honeyeaters Foulehaio carunculata and collared lorys, and which they may variously chase or be chased by.


This species qualifies as Critically Endangered because the lack of recent records, despite considerable survey effort, suggests it has a tiny population which is presumably continuing to decline as a result of predation from introduced rats and loss of habitat.
Lowland and hill forest is slowly being cleared in much of Fiji. However, the rarity and assumed decline of this species is probably largely the result of predation by introduced mammals, especially black rat Rattus rattus, as is the case with the closely-related New Caledonian Lorikeet C. diadema which could be extinct owing to predation by rats. Recent increases in the road network on all the islands in its range is likely to be increasing rat density.
Red-throated Lorikeet status Critically Endangered



Distribution map

Red-throated Lorikeet distribution range map

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