The Kuhl’s Lory (Vini kuhlii) is endemic to Rimatara, a small Makatea Island southeast of Mangaia, as well as Tubuai (Austral Islands). It is found in coconut plantations.The Kuhl’s lory is a nectarivore (nectar eater), and has a brushy tongue to acquire the nectar.
Fossil record and oral traditions show that the Kuhl’s lory was formerly a native bird on most of the Southern Cook Islands – where it was much prized for its small red feathers, which were used for chiefly adornments and for decorating ceremonial headdresses.
The Zoological Society of San Diego has been a conservation partner with French Polynesia in the conservation of several species of lories and lorikeets. It is believed that if invasive ship rats should ever invade Rimatara, the endemic lory would soon become extinct in its natural range. The CRES Applied Animal Ecology Division is working with Cook Islands Natural Heritage staff to increase quarantine procedures and awareness to prevent the introduction of the ship rat and to establish a backup population on an island within the lory’s former natural range, namely Atiu in the Southern Cook Islands. Staff mist-netted 27 Kuhl’s lories, maintained them in field cages, and send them to Atiu for release. Approximately one year post-release, staff plans on participating in a collaborative island-wide survey to determine numbers of release birds, reproductive activity, distribution, and habitat utilization and cultural implications.
Obviously, this lory is uncommon in captivity.
Lories as Pets or in Aviculture:
Due to their endangered status, any suitable specimen that cannot be released back into their natural habitat (native range) should preferably be placed into a well-managed breeding program to ensure the continued survival of this species.
Family: Loriidae … Genus: Scientific: Vini … English: Vini Lories … Dutch: Vinilori … German: Maidloris … French: Lori Vini
Species: Scientific: Vini kuhlii … English: Kuhl’s Lory … Dutch: Kuhls Lori … German: Rubinlori … French: Lori de Kuhl
Other Relevant Web Resources
- Photos of the Different Lory Species for Identification … Listing of Species
- Distribution Maps of Lories & Lorikeets
- Lories & Lorikeets in Aviculture
- Feeding & Housing Your Lories & Lorikeets
- Diseases of Lories / Lorikeets & Health Care Program
- Special Challenges of Lories and Lorikeets: Training and Behavioral Guidance
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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