Eos histrio


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Eos histrio
Species Authority: (Müller, 1776)
Common Name(s):
English Red-and-blue Lory
Spanish Lori de Sangir

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Prayudhi, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Taylor, J., Tobias, J., Khwaja, N.
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.

2012 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eos histrio 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.

Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: 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.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and 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.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): 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 [top]

Conservation Actions: 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.

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Eos histrio. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 27 August 2015.
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