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Blue-fronted Lorikeet Charmosyna toxopei
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This species had not been positively identified for many years despite several surveys of Buru, until two birds were photographed in November 2014. This suggests that its population is very small, and likely to be decreasing given that its habitat is shrinking both in extent and quality. For these reasons it is considered Critically Endangered.

Taxonomic source(s)
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.

16 cm. Slender, forest-dwelling lorikeet. Male predominantly green, yellowish-green on breast. Orange bill and legs, pale blue forecrown. Yellow band across underside of secondaries. Female has reduced blue on crown and stronger band on secondaries. Similar spp. Female Red-breasted Pygmy-parrot Micropsitta bruijnii has short tail and contrastingly pale cheeks and throat. Female Red-flanked Lorikeet C. placentis (probably absent from Buru) has streaked cheeks. Voice Very shrill ti...ti...ti...ti-ti-ti has been reported, probably given in flight.

Distribution and population
Charmosyna toxopei is endemic to the island of Buru, South Maluku, Indonesia, where it was known from seven specimens collected in the 1920s, on the west side of Lake Rana. It was recorded by only one of the 24 collectors active on Buru, implying that it is either very rare, localised, nomadic or has specific habitat preferences. In November 2014 at least two Blue-fronted Lorikeets were observed and photographed on Buru (Robson 2014). Prior to 2014, recent targeted searches yielded no confirmed records of the species (M. Poulsen in litt. 2012). Observations of an apparent Charmosyna lorikeet on the island, possibly this species, suggest it may be quite common around Teluk Bara. It was recorded between 1979 and 1981, with an unconfirmed report in 1989. Further reports by local villagers during the 1990s, a record of birds being trapped in 1998 and three Charmosyna spp. seen in 2006 (M. Halaouate in litt. 2007) probably all refer to this species. Interviews conducted in the 1990s revealed that only local people living west of the Rana River knew it. A three-week visit to Buru in May and June 2010 did not produce any sightings of the species, although interviews with local people uncovered recent records. However, it should be noted that local people frequently refer to all green parrots as "karenga" and make no differentiation between species (A. Gray in litt. 2010). The lack of confirmed records makes it problematic to assess this species's population size, but unconfirmed reports have described it as "quite common", although only from one part of a very small range.

Population justification
Owing to the considerable loss of lowland forest and the paucity of confirmed records this species is suspected to have an extremely small population, probably numbering 50-249 mature individuals. This equates to 75-374 individuals in total, rounded here to 70-400 individuals.

Trend justification
Although there are few records (confirmed or unconfirmed) of the species, it is suspected to be declining owing to forest loss in the lowlands.

The original series of specimens was collected between 850 and 1,000 m, and comprised individuals found feeding on nectar and pollen, in trees on apparently level land. The birds recorded in November 2014 were found at 1,300 m and were also feeding in flowering trees (Robson 2014). There is one aural record from a coconut plantation in the south, at or near sea-level. Recent observations of a Charmosyna species come from plantations, and selectively logged secondary and primary forest around 600 m. Anecdotal information collected from interviews with local people suggest that it is probably a lower montane species, which in some years occurs down to the coastal lowlands. It has been seen in pairs but apparently occurs more commonly in groups of up to 10 individuals. Further interviews with local inhabitants suggest that the species moves to the lowlands during the two annual hot seasons: in March and April, and between August and November (A. Gray in litt. 2010).

Most forest in the coastal lowland of Buru has now been cleared, and much of the forest in the northern part of the island has been selectively logged or degraded and fragmented by shifting agriculture, such that only a few small patches of primary lowland forest remain. However, gardens on the island still contain many indigenous tree species. In 2010, there was at least one fairly large-scale logging operation on Buru, situated in the lowlands. However, the island's extensive montane forests remain largely undisturbed. The topography of the Kaplamandan mountain range means that almost all of the montane forest is expected to be inaccessible to loggers (A. Gray in litt. 2010). All the original specimens were caught alive using lime, however the species is not kept as a pet, nor apparently is it traded. Having a montane distribution that is close to the maximum altitude within its range, this species is potentially susceptible to climate change (BirdLife International unpubl. data).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. An area of 1,450 km2 on Gunung Kelapatmada in the west of the island is proposed as a reserve. It remains to be confirmed whether this site meets the conservation needs of all Buru's threatened landbirds. The Wildlife Conservation Society continues to operate wildlife crime market/trade surveillance and enforcement. This includes the trade hubs of both east and west Indonesia, and the work is set for considerable expansion in the coming years. They are also exploring the potential for habitat protection-based projects on Buru (N. Brickle in litt. 2007). A visit to Buru in May and June 2010 raised awareness of the species and its conservation amongst local people, and a return visit is intended (A. Gray in litt. 2010).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct widespread surveys ranging out from the Teluk Bara/Lake Rana area, to establish its current status, distribution, habitat requirements and movements. If key sites for the species are identified, propose their establishment as strict protected areas. Support the establishment of a proposed reserve at Gunung Kelapatmada.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Robson, C. 2014. BirdQuest Tour Report: Remote Eastern Indonesia 7-29 November 2014. BirdQuest Available at: (Accessed: 25/06/2015).

Further web sources of information
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., Butchart, S., Davidson, P., Derhé, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Tobias, J. & Khwaja, N.

Brickle, N., Gray, A., Halaouate, M., Poulsen, M. & Gilardi, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Charmosyna toxopei. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author (Siebers, 1930)
Population size 50-249 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 8,600 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species