Endangered Species in the Pacific Islands
Rota Bridled White-eye / Zosterops rotensis / Nosa luta
||The Rota bridled white-eye or Rota white-eye is endemic to the island of Rota, U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The name white-eye is derived from the ring of white feathers around each eye. The plumage is tinged with yellow, and the bill, legs, and feet are yellow-orange. The Rota bridled white-eye is approximately four inches in size and average weight is about one-third of an ounce.
|Rota bridled white-eye- Photo credit Fred Amidon/USFWS
Habitat & Behavior:
The Rota bridled white-eye was once widespread, possibly occupying forested habitat at all elevations. The species feeds primarily on insects and often is found in small flocks of five to seven birds.
Past & Present:
The total population of the Rota bridled white-eye was estimated at 1,167 individuals in 1996, representing a decline of 89 percent from the 1982 estimated population of 10,763 individuals. The population estimate in 1999 was approximately 1,092 individuals. The Rota bridled white-eye is currently found in four patches of mature wet forest at elevations above 200 meters (650 feet). The reasons for this species’ decline are likely the degradation or loss of habitat due to development, agricultural activities, and naturally occurring events; and predation.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated approximately 1,602 hectares (3,958 acres) of critical habitat for the species in 2006. Research on the biology of the species and factors for their decline are currently underway.
September 20, 2012