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Rimatara Reed-warbler

RIMATARA REED-WARBLER
Rousserolle de Rimatara - Photo Jean-Paul Mutz

Rousserolle de Rimatara – Photo Jean-Paul Mutz


APPEARANCE AND IDENTIFICATION

6 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. These small birds have erectile cap. Some individuals are entirely yellow or olive green. Other individuals have the cheeks, throat and the belly coloured with yellow. The crown and the nape and are brown, the wings have white and brown speckled scaled shaped spots. It is unknown if these variations in plumage are age-related or if it exist several colour phases.

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Acrocephalidae

CategoryEndemic Birds


LOCATION

Endemic to Rimatara.


CHARACTERISTICS

This warbler is everywhere on the island with a predilection for the valley bottoms and horticultural areas.

The most common cries are “tip, tip, …” spaced and repeated one or more times. There is also an alarm call  “chrou …”. More melodious though hardly heard. During social interactions, dry clicks that sound like cries from geckos and quail calls are emitted.

To listen the Rimatara Reed-warbler:
http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Acrocephalus-rimitarae

Recording by Philippe Raust:

Various insects and flowers nectar including those of atae or Erythrina (Erythrina variegata). It hunts both the ground and in shrubs or the tall trees.

Seasonal and seems to extend from December to May-June.

Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.

Bibliography:
https://inpn.mnhn.fr/espece/cd_nom/418873
http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/species.jsp?avibaseid=212D479135CA07EA
http://www.oiseaux.net/oiseaux/rousserolle.de.rimatara.html
http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/rimatara-reed-warbler-acrocephalus-rimitarae
http://www.hbw.com/ibc/species/rimatara-reed-warbler-acrocephalus-rimitarae
https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22714826/125518142

NAMES

Scientific Name: Acrocephalus rimitarae (Murphy & Mathrews, 1929)

Polynesian Names:
Oroma’o (Rimatara)

LOCATION
  • Austral: Rimatara only

STATUS AND PROTECTION

In 2002, the population of Rimatara Reed-warbler was 5700 individuals. The census conducted in 2017 gave 958 estimated individuals.
The species is therefore in danger because its presence is drastically reduced and restricted to this unique and small island (800 hectares). The intrusion of the black rat on this still protected land would have a disastrous impact on the entire local birdlife.

The species is listed in category A of the list of species protected by the territorial regulations of French Polynesia.
It is classified as « Critically Endangered » (CR) on the IUCN Red List.