Species Information

Aplonis cinerascens

Species Authority

Hartlaub & Finsch, 1871

Common Name/s

Rarotonga Starling

Species Status

Vulnerable

Organism Type

Land bird

Taxonomy

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae

Environment/System

terrestrial

Invasive Species Threat Summary

The Rarontonga Starling Aplonis cinerascens is classified as ‘Vulnerable (VU)’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.It is endemic to the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands. The current population is estimated at 600 to 1700 mature individuals (BirdLife International, 2012).

A. cinerascens is threatened by a range of invasive species such as the common myna (Acridotheres tristis) and black rats ( Rattus rattus). The species, like many native avian species, is also susceptible to introduced disease (BirdLife International, 2012).

Invasive Species Management Summary

The species is believed to benefit from conservation management of the Rarotonga Monarch (Pomarea dimidiata), which is occurring in the southeast of the island, and which involves intensive rat control. Recent surveys have successfully provided a more accurate population size estimate. Recommendations for action include control of A. tristis and R. rattus (BirdLife International, 2012).

References

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An Initiative of the ACP Group, funded by the European Union under the 10th EDF