The five members of the genus Vini are shaped like other true Lories but are small. The average size is 17-19cm, including a 6-7 cm tail. All are brilliant in coloration and are extremely rare. Members of this genus are small, stocky parrots with short rounded tails in which the central feathers are longer than the lateral ones. The erectile feathers of the crown are long and shaft- streaked. These birds are endemic to the islands of the tropical Pacific, ranging from eastern Fiji through Samoa, French Polynesia, and as far east as Henderson Island.
Listen to the sound of Ultramarine Lorikeet
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
recorded by Todd Mark
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Almost all of the population is on one island where the species is stable or even increasing slightly, on other islands it is slowly declining and already almost extinct. The overall trend is suspected to be a slow and ongoing decline. If black rats reach Ua Huka the decline will be rapid and severe. It is likely that black rat Rattus rattus is responsible for its decline, being present on Nuku Hiva since c.1915, on Ua Pou (probably) since 1980, on a motu a few hundred metres from Ua Huka6, and confirmed, for the first time, on Fatu Hiva in February 200011. All islands have been devastated by very high levels of grazing and fire, and much of the original dry forest has been reduced to grassland, and extensive damage has been caused even to upland forests. Were the black rat to colonise Ua Huka patterns observed on other islands would indicate that the species would decline almost to extinction within 20 years.