Greater Green Leafbird occurs in southern Myanmar, southwest Thailand, Borneo, Sumatra and Java. It is currently classified as Least Concern on the basis that it does not approach any of the thresholds for classification as Vulnerable.
This species was present at very low numbers in the markets at the turn of the century, with none recorded in Medan in 1997 and 1998 then 110 observed in the following three years (Shepherd 2006). Numbers slowly increased with an annual number traded through the markets in Medan estimated at 842 birds during 2012-2013 (Harris et al. 2015). Since then however, the species has suddenly come into fashion (Eaton et al. 2015), and right now mind-boggling numbers are being traded. J. Eaton in litt. (2016) states that 5000 individuals per month are currently being imported from Sarawak into Kalimantan. Regardless of the very large range and assumed population size this species is thought to be declining at a significant rate as a direct result of this exploitation.
Information is requested on evidence for the impacts on wild populations hinting at the scale of any decline, for example repeated visits to the same locations over the last few years and indications of price increases for the species in large markets. The fact that the source for the majority of birds going into the trade now is beyond the shores of Indonesia suggests that accessible populations within the country have already collapsed to a considerable degree. Over how much of the range is this true? Are Greater Green Leafbirds being trapped in Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand, and is therefore at risk across its whole range? Although this has been an abundant bird in the recent past and has a very large distribution it appears that the volume of trade, coupled with significant deforestation (itself facilitating access to a greater proportion of habitat) could realistically have caused or be causing global declines of the order of 30-49% within the last or next 12.6 years (3 generations). If so, this species would qualify for listing as Vulnerable under criterion A2d + 3d + 4d.
Chng, S. C. L., Eaton, J. A., Krishnasamy, K., Shepherd, C. R. & Nijman, V. 2015. In the market for extinction: an inventory of Jakarta’s bird markets. Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia: TRAFFIC.
Eaton, J.A., Shepherd, C.R., Rheindt, F.E., Harris, J.B.C., van Balen, S. (B.), Wilcove, D.S. and Collar, N.J. 2015. Trade-driven extinctions and near-extinctions of avian taxa in Sundaic Indonesia. Forktail 31: 1-12.
Harris, J. B. C., Green, J. M. H., Prawiradilaga, D. M., Giam, X., Giyanto, Hikmatullah, D., Putra, C. A. & Wilcove, D. S. 2015. Using market data and expert opinion to identify overexploited species in the wild bird trade. Biol. Conserv. 187: 51–60.
Shepherd, C. R. 2006. The bird trade in Medan, North Sumatra: an overview. BirdingASIA 5: 16–24.