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Lory Conservation Network


Project Status: Active | 2009 - current


San Diego Zoo, Banham Zoo, Chessington Zoo, Lory League, Natural Encounters Conservation Fund, NOAH Nature Alliance, Vogelpark Avifauna, Blackpool Zoo, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Paradise Park

United efforts to save lories and lorikeets

Founded in 2009 by the World Parrot Trust, the Lory Conservation Network (LCN) connects zoos, bird parks and lory exhibits around the world with effective conservation programs to save lories. Network participants work with parrot enthusiasts, researchers, local communities and government leaders. Through this unique partnership LCN supports habitat restoration programs, conservation and research projects, and reintroduction and release programs, and increases awareness of the plight of lories and lorikeets.

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The Loriinae, or lories, are widely distributed throughout South-eastern Asia, Polynesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia.  Many of these species face threats that affect their populations in the wild. These include pressures from hunting (for their colourful feathers), destruction of habitat, capture for the pet trade, and introduced predators.

Progress and outcomes: Efforts already funded by this initiative include:

The impact of Cyclone Pat on the Blue Lorikeet (Vini peruviana): The Blue Lorikeet is Vulnerable in the wild due to predation by Black rats (Rattus rattus) and possibly increased hurricane activity. In late 2010 WPT supported research to assess the impact of Cyclone Pat on the lorikeet population of Aitutaki, Cook Islands.

Release of Mitchell's Lory (Trichoglossus haematodus mitchellii) on Nusa Penida: Capture for the pet trade has left Mitchell's Lorikeets' populations very low. In 2010 the World Parrot Trust began supporting Friends of the National Park Foundation (FNPF) staff on Nusa Penida to track the whereabouts of three released Mitchell's.

Assesing the Distribution and Abundance of Myna Birds (Acridotheres tristis) and Rimatara Lorikeets (Vini kuhlii) on Atiu, Cook Islands: Kuhl's or Rimatara Lorikeet is Endangered in the wild due to overexploitation for its red feathers. WPT supported the study of the Kuhl's Lorikeet's status, and of the introduced Myna Bird's range and effects on Kuhl's populations.

Translocation efforts for the Kuhl's Lorikeet: WPT provided support in 2008 to enable a translocation program of Kuhl's Lorikeet to the island of Atiu, one of its native islands.

2012 Survey of Kuhl's Lorikeet on Atiu: A followup survey was done in 2012 to measure the relative abundance of Kuhl’s Lorikeet after a Common Myna eradication programme was introduced.

Confiscation and release of Red-and-blue Lories: A group of 100+ lories were found in trade and confiscated. A remaining 95 birds were sent to the Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue Center, Indonesia. LCN provided logistical and financial support for rehabilitatino efforts. Over 60 birds were successfully released to the Talaud islands.

Details and downloadable reports

Focus of future work

Captive breeding and release of Mitchell's Lorikeet: Efforts are underway to breed and release the species in-situ, with additional birds provided by partners in Europe.

Red-and-blue Lory breeding and release efforts: Unreleasable birds from previous confiscations have been retained and are being cared for. Future efforts with these birds will include a breeding and release program to take place within Indonesia.


Colourful acrobats of the parrot world

Vividly colored and full of energy, lories and lorikeets are unique among parrots.  Lories are larger, heavier-bodied birds with squared-off tails whereas lorikeets are more slender, with longer, tapering tails. Most lories are very brightly colored and have glossy feathers in rainbow hues, and many lorikeets are moss green in colour, which makes them blend in with their surroundings. They all display great agility because of their strong feet and legs.

Nectar-eating parrots

Lories and lorikeets have specialized brush-tipped tongues for feeding on nectar and soft fruits from as many as 5,000 species of plants. The tips of their tongues have tufts of papillae (extremely fine hairs), which collect the nectar and pollen. Due to their high energy diet they are hyperactive and clownish in personality, both in captivity and in the wild.

Status and Threats

Loriinae are widely distributed throughout the region of Australasia, including South-eastern Asia, Polynesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia.  Several of these species face threats that affect their populations in the wild. These threats will vary by location but may include pressures from hunting (for their feathers), destruction of habitat (due to agriculture, logging, or other forms of alteration), capture for the pet trade (although illegal in many countries) and introduced predators (such as rats, cats and stoats).

Past Projects

Search for the Red-throated Lorikeet

Working closely with the National Trust for Fiji, in 2001 WPT sent a biologist to the islands to carry out a survey of endangered parrots in the region. Early reports indicated that a search for the endangered Red-throated Lorikeet (Charmosyna amabilis) would be a priority. Sadly, in subsequent survey efforts the rare bird was not seen, but much information was gained, and further surveys are being considered.

Conservation of the Ultramarine Lorikeet in the Marquesas Islands

Endemic to the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia, the Ultramarine Lory (Vini ultramarina), is arguably amongst the most spectacular of birds and one of the most endangered species of lories.  In 2003 WPT supported a research and conservation program designed to increase understanding of the species' biology and conservation requirements, and to reverse or at least stabilise the species' population decline.

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