Archived 2016 topics: Seychelles White-eye (Zosterops modestus): downlist from Endangered to Vulnerable?

BirdLife species factsheet for Seychelles White-eye:

Previous forum discussion on Seychelles White-eye:

This species is found on Conception and Mahé Islands of the Seychelles, and translocations to North Island, Frégate and Cousine have occurred. It is currently listed as Endangered on the basis that it has a very small population of <250 mature individuals.

Latest population estimates for these islands are Conception – c.340 in 2009 (Rocamora and Labiche 2009); Mahé – a decline down to 40 birds in 2011-2013 (G. Rocamora in litt. 2014); Frégate – 150 individuals in 2010/2011 (G. Rocamora in litt. 2014); North Island – 100 individuals (Havemann and Havemann 2014); Cousine – the translocation has probably been unsuccessful with no more than 5 individuals reported in 2013 (G. Rocamora in litt. 2014).

The population is estimated to be increasing due to an improvement in their habitats, particularly from rat eradications and habitat restoration on the islands where it has been translocated to (G. Rocamora in litt. 2007). The species has previously been listed as Endangered due to its population being very small (<250 mature individuals). However, these latest population estimates suggest that it is highly likely there have been >250 mature individuals for at least 5 years. This means that the species would no longer qualify as Endangered. However, its population is still estimated to be in the range of 500-650 individuals (Safford and Hawkins 2013), roughly equivalent to 330-430 mature individuals in addition to being found in only a very limited number of locations. Therefore, it would still qualify as Vulnerable under criteria D1+2.

We welcome comments on this proposed downlisting.


Havemann, C.J. and Havemann, T. 2014. North Island. Seychelles Wildlife News 14(October-December): 9-11.

Rocamora, G.; Labiche, A. 2009. Variation of abundance of land birds and reptile on Conception between the pre and post rat eradication periods (2005 to 2008). Annex 12. In: Rocamora, G; Jean-Louis, A. (ed.), Réhabilitation des Ecosystèmes Insulaires. Rapport annuel au secrétariat du FFEM. Quatrième année d’opérations 1/05/08 au 30/06/09, pp. 66-74. Island Conservation Society, Seychelles.

Safford, R. J.; Hawkins, A. F. A. 2013. The Birds of Africa. Volume VIII: The Malagasy Region. Christopher Helm, London.

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3 Responses to Archived 2016 topics: Seychelles White-eye (Zosterops modestus): downlist from Endangered to Vulnerable?

  1. David S Richardson says:

    Seems logical based on a stable population…but that population is still very small (<500) and censuses are needed on Fregate and North to confirm the populations are fully established and not likely to be decreasing as on Cousine.

  2. Logical based on the above argument …but the overall numbers are still very low with <500 individuals . PLus there has been no recent censuses on Fregate and North to confirm those populations are fully established and not decreasing (as happened for Cousine).

  3. James Westrip (BirdLife) says:

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2016 Red List would be to adopt the proposed classifications outlined in the initial forum discussion.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 28 October, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    Please note that we will then only post final recommended categorisations on forum discussions where these differ from those in the initial proposal.

    The final 2016 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in early December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

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