Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Coraciiformes Coraciidae

Scientific Name: Eurystomus azureus
Species Authority: Gray, 1860
Common Name(s):
English Azure Dollarbird, Azure Dollarbird, Purple Roller
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Identification information: 31-35 cm. Medium-sized, forest-dwelling bird. Generally dark purple with wings, rump and belly deeper blue and conspicuous silvery-blue circle on primaries. Bright red bill, legs and bare orbital ring. Similar spp. Common Dollarbird E. orientalis is smaller with brownish head and mantle, greenish-blue wings and underparts. Voice Undocumented, but probably a staccato chattering like other members of the genus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Taylor, J., Tobias, J.
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it has a small population which is suspected to be suffering continuing declines as a result of habitat loss and degradation in its moderately small range. Its status is very poorly known, but it has previously been downlisted from Vulnerable owing to a lack of quantitative data to confirm the suspected decline in its population.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2007 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eurystomus azureus is endemic to North Maluku, Indonesia, where it is known from Halmahera, Ternate, Tidore, Kasiruta and Bacan (BirdLife International 2001). It was originally considered uncommon, but the paucity of records during recent fieldwork suggests that it is now rare throughout its range, having undergone a substantial decline on Halmahera, where the bulk of the population survives.

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 21000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 600
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 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 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  Moderate declines are suspected to be occurring, owing to on-going and rapid rates of habitat loss in the lowlands throughout the species's range.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 1500-7000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is resident in primary lowland and foothill-forest, including edges and selectively logged areas, occasionally in adjacent coconut groves, up to 600 m. Despite its use of clearings it appears to be sensitive to high levels of degradation. It is being replaced in cultivated areas by its widespread relative E. orientalis.

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 5.6
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is primarily threatened by habitat loss. Since the early 1990s (when it was reported that c.90% of the total area of Halmahera remained forested), clearance and fragmentation of forest has accelerated dramatically. Exploitation of economically valuable trees is now widespread and intensive, with most remaining forest under timber concession. In addition, habitat is under pressure from increased settlement and transmigration, conversion to agriculture, plantations, irrigation schemes, fuelwood-collection and mineral extraction. Given the predilection of this species for low elevations, and the fact that it is apparently outcompeted in cleared areas by E. orientalis, these threats are particularly alarming.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
There is currently only one protected area in North Maluku, Gunung Sibela Strict Nature Reserve on Bacan, although this site is seriously threatened by agricultural encroachment and gold prospecting. One large area on Halmahera has recently been designated as a national park: the 167,300 ha Lalobata/Ake Tajawe NP. Another protected area at Gunung Gamkonora has also been proposed.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to clarify its current distribution, quantify population size and elucidate trends. Establish, and subsequently manage, a national park on Halmahera, embracing habitat at Lalobata and Ake Tajawe. Establish a wildlife sanctuary at Gunung Gamkonora. Lobby for reduced logging in North Maluku and conduct awareness campaigns to minimise forest destruction on Halmahera.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Eurystomus azureus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22682926A37992514. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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