Zosterops flavus is currently assessed as Near Threatened on the basis that it has a highly restricted and fragmented range and is likely to be declining moderately as a result of habitat loss, but that the species could still be common where found. However, since this assessment the species seems to have disappeared from multiple sites across Java at which it was easily found just a few years earlier and trappers using decoy birds were observed targeting this species (Eaton et al. 2015). The habitat is still present and apparently unaltered in these locations (J. Eaton in litt. 2016). The situation along the southern coast of Kalimantan in recent years is largely unknown (J. Eaton in litt. 2016), although the species is still present (eBird 2016).
Very large numbers of white-eyes are sold in markets throughout Indonesia, chiefly Oriental White-eye Zosterops palebrosus, but 42 Javan White-eyes were observed over a three day inventory of the main markets on Java in 2014 (Chng et al. 2015) and a single bird was observed in a Singapore bird shop in 2015 (Eaton et al. 2015). Typically white-eyes are sold very cheaply and are incredibly popular cagebirds on Java (S. van Balen in litt. 2016).
On Java the species appears to have undergone a rapid to very rapid decline within the last ten years, and has virtually disappeared from multiple sites (J. Eaton in litt. 2016, S. van Balen in litt. 2016). The status and population trend on Kalimantan is unknown, aside from the fact that the species is still present. On the basis that the declines overall are likely to have exceeded 30% in 10.5 years (three generations) and are ongoing and the factors causing the declines have not stopped, the species is proposed to qualify for uplisting to 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.
eBird 2016b. Paulo Alves: Checklist S22890624. Warna Sari—paddyfield, Kalimantan Tangah Countym Kalimantan, ID. http://ebird.org/ebird/portugal/view/checklist/S22890624. Accessed 25th August 2016