Blue-eared Lory (Eos semilarvata): revise global status?

BirdLife species factsheet for Blue-eared Lory:

Blue-eared Lory (Eos semilarvata) is endemic to the island of Seram, Indonesia. It occurs in montane forest on the island, above 1,350m, although it will occasionally range down to 800m (see Reeve et al. 2014, Collar and Kirwan 2018). However, its ecological requirements are not well known (Collar and Kirwan 2018). Data from Tracewski et al. (2016) suggests that there has been no forest loss within the species’s range between 2000 and 2012, and so deforestation may not be a key threat. However, the species is being captured for the cagebird trade (see Sasaoka 2003), and as such it is tentatively suspected to be undergoing a decline, although there is little direct evidence for this.

Currently listed as Least Concern (BirdLife International 2018), an analysis of deforestation has shown that the amount of forest remaining within the species’s range is very limited (Tracewski et al. 2016), and as such the species could warrant a change in Red List status. Therefore, it has been reassessed here against all criteria.

The initial topic on this analysis can be found here.

Criterion A – The species is currently tentatively suspected to be in decline owing to trapping for the cagebird trade, and Sasaoka (2003) reports that this species is seldom caught, albeit at only one site. At the moment there is no strong quantification of the extent to which capture for trade is driving declines in this species, and so we cannot accurately estimate population declines over three generations in this species (20.4 years). Therefore, we cannot accurately assess the species against this criterion, although we could tentatively retain the species as undergoing a suspected decline.

Criterion B – The species’s Extent of Occurrence (EOO) is 930km2, which meets the threshold for Endangered under Criterion B1. Tracewski et al. (2016) also estimate the maximum Area of Occupancy (AOO) (calculated as the remaining tree area within the species’s range) to be c.340km2, which meets the threshold for Endangered under Criterion B2. However, to be listed as such requires at least two other conditions to be met.

The species is not known to undergo extreme fluctuations and so it would not trigger condition c). The species is unlikely to be severely fragmented per IUCN Standards and Petitions Subcommittee (2017), but it is suspected to occur at a limited number of locations*. It is estimated that the species is found at ≤10 locations, but it is uncertain whether it is at ≤ 5. Therefore, the number of locations may be tentatively placed in the range 6-10, which meets the threshold only for Vulnerable under condition a).

Declines are suspected to be occurring due to capture for trade, but this is not a sufficient level of confidence to trigger condition b). If there were sufficient evidence to show more conclusively that the species is being depleted due to trade, then it would warrant listing as Vulnerable under Criteria B1ab(v)+2ab(v), but with current evidence it would instead warrant listing as Near Threatened under the same criteria string.

Criterion C – The population size of this species has not been directly quantified, but it is described as “common to locally abundant” (Collar and Kirwan 2018). Taking this into account and looking at the spread of densities reported by Marsden and Royle (2015) for Eos spp. would mean that the population size of this species may be around the threshold for Vulnerable (10,000 mature individuals). For instance, the median population density for Eos appears to be c.70-75 individuals per km2. Even assuming all of the suitable habitat is occupied would then only give a population of 23,800-25,500 individuals, which would roughly equate to a population size of 15,870-17,000 mature individuals. These very rough estimates are above the threshold for Vulnerable (10,000 mature individuals), although potentially approaching this threshold. The species is likely to occur in just one population, and so it could be precautionary to list the species as Near Threatened under Criterion C2a(ii), although further evidence regarding declines or population size estimates could mean a revision of this tentative suggestion is required.

Criterion D – The species range and population size are suspected to be too large to warrant listing under this criterion. Thus, the species is assessed as Least Concern under Criterion D.

Criterion E – To the best of our knowledge, there has been no quantitative analysis of extinction risk carried out for this species. Therefore, it cannot be assessed against this criterion.

Therefore, the species warrants uplisting at least to Near Threatened under Criteria B1ab(v)+2ab(v); C2a(ii), and potentially to Vulnerable under Criterion B1ab(v)+2ab(v). We welcome further comments or information, but please note that this topic is not designed to be a general discussion about the ecology of the species, rather a discussion of the species’ Red List status. Therefore, please make sure your comments are relevant to the information that is sought, or about the species’s Red List status.

*The term ‘location’ refers to a distinct area in which a single threatening event can rapidly affect all individuals of the taxon present, with the size of the location depending on the area covered by the threatening event. Where a taxon is affected by more than one threatening event, location should be defined by considering the most serious plausible threat (IUCN 2001, 2012).

An information booklet on the Red List Categories and Criteria can be downloaded here and the Red List Criteria Summary Sheet can be downloaded here. Detailed guidance on IUCN Red List terms and definitions and the application of the Red List Categories and Criteria can be downloaded here.


BirdLife International. 2018. Species factsheet: Eos semilarvata. Downloaded from on 18/09/2018.

Collar, N.; Kirwan, G. M. 2018. Blue-eared Lory (Eos semilarvata). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 September 2018).

IUCN. 2001. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. Second edition. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K. Available at:

IUCN Standards and Petitions Subcommittee. 2017. Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 13. Prepared by the Standards and Petitions Subcommittee. Downloadable from

Marsden, S. J.; Royle, K. 2015. Abundance and abundance change in the world’s parrots. Ibis 157: 219-229.

Reeve, A. H.; Haryoko, T.; Poulsen, M. K.; Fabre, P.-H.; Jønsson, K. A. 2014. New ornithological records from Buru and Seram, south Maluku, Indonesia, 1995-2012. Forktail 30: 10-22.

Sasaoka, M. 2003. Customary forest resource management in Seram Island, central Maluku: the “seli kaitahu” system. Tropics 12(4): 247-260. Tracewski, Ł.; Butchart, S. H. M.; Di Marco, M.; Ficetola, G. F.; Rondinini, C.; Symes, A.; Wheatley, H.; Beresford, A. E.; Buchanan, G. M. 2016. Toward quantification of the impact of 21st-century deforestation on the extinction risk of terrestrial vertebrates. Conservation Biology 30: 1070-1079.

This entry was posted in Asia, Indonesian cagebird trade, Parrots and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Blue-eared Lory (Eos semilarvata): revise global status?

  1. Rob Martin (BirdLife International) says:

    Preliminary proposal

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2019 Red List would be to list Blue-eared Lory as Near Threatened as approaching the thresholds for criteria B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(ii).

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline in mid-July, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    Please note that we will then only post final recommended categorisations on forum discussions where these differ from those in the initial proposal.

    The final 2019 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.