email a friend
printable version
Black-lored Parrot Tanygnathus gramineus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

The small population of this poorly-known parrot occupies a small range (at few locations), which is decreasing in size and degrading in quality as a result of habitat loss, at least at the lower fringes of its altitudinal distribution. The population is suspected to be declining, and it therefore meets the threshold for Vulnerable status.

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.

40-42 cm. Partially nocturnal, forest-dwelling parrot. Male generally dull green with large red bill and black line on lores. Crown and upper cheeks lightly washed bluish-grey. Dull bluish-green wings. Female has pinkish grey bill. Similar spp. Great-billed Parrot T. megalorynchos has blue rump, yellow fringes to wing feathers and larger bill. Male Eclectus Parrot Eclectus roratus is bright green, with short tail and no black on lores. Voice Harsh, high-pitched, slightly drawn-out flight call.

Distribution and population
Tanygnathus gramineus is endemic to the island of Buru in South Maluku, Indonesia. There are very few recent records from few localities, despite survey efforts (M. Poulsen in litt. 2012). The only relatively recent records relate to two encounters in 1980 and two more in 1995 on Buru; one bird recorded as a pet on Bali in 2001 (Collar 2006), and a few possible sightings and aural records since (M. Poulsen in litt. 2012). According to early accounts, it was probably not uncommon, and the fact that recent searches have met with little success suggests it may have declined. Recent reports of the species (Persulessy 2010) are suspected to actually refer to Great-billed Parrot Tanygnathus megalorynchos (Arndt 2011).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
There are no trend data available for this species and it has not been seen in the wild since 1995. However, its habitat continues to decline slowly and it was recorded in domestic trade in 2001. Therefore, the species's population is suspected to be declining.

This poorly-known species inhabits montane forest, chiefly above 1,000 m, but at least occasionally down to 600 m, or even the lowlands. There are suggestions it may be nocturnal, although this is unproven (T. Arndt in litt. 2012). Although assumed to be resident, it perhaps makes altitudinal movements seasonally, or even daily.

Habitat loss appears to be the main threat. Most forest in the coastal lowlands 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. The island's montane forests are largely undisturbed, although none currently receives formal protection. There is historical documentation of some minor exploitation of the species, but around 1980 there was no evidence of any trade. It has since been observed as a cage bird on Bali in 2001 (Collar 2006).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Surveys for Buru's endemic birds were conducted in 1989 and 1995-1996, this species only being recorded during the latter survey. An area of 1,450 km2, encompassing Gunung Kelapatmada in the west of the island (where the species is known to occur), is proposed as a reserve. However, it remains to be confirmed that this site is the most appropriate area for the conservation of threatened endemic birds. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys particularly using its vocalisations at night, primarily in montane areas. Research its ecological requirements and movements in order to develop an appropriate conservation strategy. Identify the most appropriate area for the conservation of this and other threatened species on Buru, and promote its establishment as a strict protected area.

Arndt, T. 2011. Ergänzende Anmerkung zum Artikel über Papageienarten auf Buru. ZGAP Mitteilungen 27(1): 20.

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

Collar, N. J. 2006. Two strange parrots in the genus Tanygnathus. BirdingASIA 6: 28-33.

Persulessy, Y. E. 2010. Untersuchung der Verbreitung und Bestände von Papageienarten auf Buru. ZGAP Mitteilungen 26(2): 29.

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., Davidson, P., Derhé, M., Tobias, J., Khwaja, N.

Collar, N., Arndt, T., Poulsen, M.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Tanygnathus gramineus. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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 Vulnerable
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author (Gmelin, 1788)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,400 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species