This species has a very small range (being known from only a few locations) which is in decline owing to habitat loss. It has undergone a rapid population decline, largely as a result of trapping for trade, and this is projected to increase in the future. It therefore qualifies as Endangered.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
Distribution and populationEos histrio
31 cm. Strikingly-patterned, arboreal parrot. Red, with orange bill and purplish-blue patch on mid- to hind crown and broad line from eye to mantle. Purplish-blue breast-band, mantle and back. Black scapulars, flight feathers and thighs. Red wing feathers tipped black. Reddish-purple tail. Voice Short harsh chattering screeches.
is now confined to the Talaud Islands (almost exclusively on Karakelang) off northern Sulawesi, Indonesia
(BirdLife International 2001). Although it was previously abundant, the species has declined and the population on Karakelang was estimated at 8,230-21,400 birds in 1999 (Riley 2003). The nominate subspecies, known from the Sangihe Islands, is probably now extinct.Population justification
Karakelang, where the vast majority of the species's population is found, was estimated to hold 8,230-21,400 birds in 1999. The estimate of 8,200-21,400 individuals is used as a total here, roughly equating to 5,500-14,000 mature individuals.Trend justification
Agricultural encroachment and logging are driving forest loss which is compounding the threat of illegal trade in the species, hence it is suspected to be declining rapidly.Ecology
It inhabits forests, eating fruit and insects, but also visits agricultural areas to feed on coconut nectar and various cultivated fruits. Highest densities have been recorded in primary forest but the species does tolerate secondary forest too (Riley 2003). The species nests in holes in tall trees, and the main breeding period appears to be May-June (although nesting has been suspected in several other months). Flocks regularly make short seasonal movements, and in some cases roost on offshore islands. Threats
Trade represents a significant and on-going threat to the species. It was widely trapped as early as the 19th century. In 1999, research suggested that as many as 1,000-2,000 birds were being taken from Karakelang each year, 80% (illegally) to the Philippines. This is compounded by the extensive loss of forest, perhaps the main factor underlying its disappearance from Sangihe. The reasons behind habitat loss are small-holder agricultural encroachment into primary forest and (illegal) commercial logging. Furthermore, in 2003 there were plans to develop a commercial banana plantation on Karakelang (Riley 2003). The use of insecticides and the transmission of disease via escaped cage-birds to wild populations, have been identified as a further potential hazards. Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I, and a protected species in Indonesia. Although 350 km2
of primary forest has some form of protected status on Karakelang, 250 km2
as a Wildlife Reserve, there is, at present, no management of these sites (Riley 2003). Since 1995, the "Action Sampiri" project has been working for biodiversity conservation in Sangihe and Talaud, conducting fieldwork and conservation awareness programmes, and developing ideas for future land-use. Efforts have been made to promote local support of the species on Talaud, its last stronghold. It has been reported that poaching and trade of this species have decreased dramatically following active confiscation operations by forestry department rangers in 2005 (R. T. Prayudhi in litt
. 2008). The bird is part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria's European Endangered [species] Programme and Parrot Taxon Advisory Group (Wilkinson 2000) and is bred in captivity (Sweeney 1998).Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor population trends and trapping levels. Enforce legislation (including strict dock controls, and perhaps activities by the navy and marine police [R. T. Prayudhi in litt
. 2008]) to reduce trading to sustainable levels. Conduct further research, provide training and resources for reserve staff and produce a cross-community management plan. Continue conservation awareness programmes to highlight the plight of this species and increase local support for its conservation. Develop capacity to effectively protect current reserves and extend and develop existing captive breeding efforts.
BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
Collar, N. J.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2013. Conservation breeding and avian diversity: chances and challenges. International Zoo Yearbook.
European Association of Zoos and Aquaria. EEPs and ESBs. Available at: http://www.eaza.net/activities/cp/Pages/EEPs.aspx.
Riley, J. 2003. Population sizes and the conservation status of endemic and restricted-range bird species on Karakelang, Talaud Islands, Indonesia. Bird Conservation International 13: 59-74.
SWEENEY, R. G. 1998. Breeding the Red and blue lorry Eos histrio at Loro Parque, Puerto de la Cruz. International Zoo Yearbook 36: 194-198.
Wilkinson, R. 2000. An overview of captive-management programmes and regional collection planning for parrots . International Zoo Yearbook 37: 36-58.
Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.
Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species
Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Taylor, J., Tobias, J., Khwaja, N.
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Eos histrio. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 29/08/2014.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 29/08/2014.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000)
Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004)
Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.
Additional resources for this species