Habitat and Ecology
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Pierce et al. (2007) recorded densities of up to 50 birds/km2 on Kiritimati and pairs reportedly occupy a territory of 1.8-2.3 ha, which coarsely equates to 100 mature individuals/km2. Combined, the islands of Kiritimati and Teraini have a land area of 336 km2, suggesting they could support a maximum of c.16,000-30,000 mature individuals. However, the species is absent from considerable areas of these two islands, likely due to unsuitable habitat, and occurs at lower densities, especially where invasive predators are present. Consequently a global population of 2,500-9,999 mature individuals is suspected, though this may prove to be an overestimate and further surveys are required. This is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.
A survey for the species gathered information on baseline population density, habitat preference and threats in 2007. This survey has made a number of recommendations for further conservation work (Pierce et al. 2007). Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out annual monitoring in May-June to determine whether the population is in decline and if so, where and what are the causes, and what contingency plan is best implemented (Pierce et al. 2007, Pierce 2010). Identify suitable habitat that supports the species. Advocate for protection of key habitats from fire, development etc, e.g. by engaging with key landowners, community and Government to identify risks, opportunities, solutions, etc and gaining better community buy-in (Pierce et al. 2007, Pierce 2010). Continue with rodent eradication from Kiritimati motu and monitor outcomes for seabirds and warbler (Pierce and Brown 2009). Use external advice to address biosecurity issues, e.g. spread of Pluchea and the potential arrival of invasive ants (Pierce et al. 2007). All surveyed sites should have the habitat described and rat trapping surveys completed. Implement rat trapping at important sites. Investigate the feasibility of emergency translocations to another island, e.g Orona in Phoenix Islands (Pierce et al. 2007).
The bokikokiko or Kiritimati reed warbler (Acrocephalus aequinoctialis) is a species of warbler in the Acrocephalidae family. It is found only on Kiritimati (Kiribati). The bokikokiko's diet has been composed largely of the weed Tribulus terrestris since the plant's introduction by European settlers in the late 1700s. The intricate feather pattern on its head has notably been considered an aphrodisiac by the indigenous population; in ancient times, the feathers were correlated with penile growth, a belief that likely has some factual basis considering the testosterone-enhancing properties of Tribulus terrestris. Due to this, the bokikokiko has been hunted to endangered levels, despite its long-lasting cultural significance within the region, and remains as one of the most important birds in Kiribati.
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