Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue and Education Centre, Kompak, Forestry Research Institute in Manado (Balai Penelitian Kehutanan) and the North Sulawesi Provincial Department for Conservation of Natural Resources (Balai Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam Sulawesi Utara)
Heavy trapping threatens wild population
Red-and-blue Lory (Eos histrio) wild populations are jeopardized by habitat loss and trapping for the wild bird trade.
Progress and outcomes: In 2013 WPT was called upon to assist the rescue and rehabilitation of 95 Red-and-blue Lories confiscated from the wild bird trade in Indonesia, and placed at the Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue and Education Centre.
After a short period of time to restore their health and allow for the regrowth of damaged feathers, 60+ birds were released back to the wild on the Talaud Islands. A small number of birds were unreleasable due to permanent wing and feather damage. Those birds will be retained for an in-situ breeding and release program.
Focus of future work: WPT provided funds to cover the cost the care and housing of birds to be released. WPT has begun working with Indonesian partners and local forestry and wildlife agencies to develop a longer term plan to help protect this species. Elements of the plan will likely include:
- Conducting population counts to determine the species’ current status
- Gathering data about foodstuffs consumed through the seasons by the birds
- Mapping the locations of nesting trees, and identifying their species
- Enhancing reproductive output with artificial nests and related nest management activities
- Investigating ecological factors needed to adapt nesting cavity construction
- Training local area forest wardens in the techniques of tree-climbing, nest management and protection, and related observational ecological studies
- Contacting local wildlife enforcement agencies to determine willingness to confiscate birds from traders active in the region
- Investigating the development of rehabilitation and release efforts for captive birds as a means to increase wild population numbers
- Releasing captive bred birds to the wild.
- Ensuring that an education and awareness program reaches every schoolchild in the area
- Educating the general population about the illegality of poaching the birds
With your help we can complete these important tasks to better understand the species, and continue to deliver effective solutions to further their conservation.
World population: Possibly less than 1000
Where found: E.h. histrio: Sangihe Islands, Indonesia. Possibly extinct.
E.h. talautensis: Talaud Islands, Indonesia
E.h. challengeri: Nanusa Islands, Indonesia.
History: Now confined almost entirely to the island of Karakelang off of N Sulawesi in Indonesia the Red-and-blue Lory (Eos histrio) has declined rapidly from a population of between 8000 - 21,000 birds in 1999 to a possible low of under 1000. The nominate subspecies is probably now extinct.
- Habitat loss - the main factor in its disappearance from Sangihe
- Wild bird trade - widely trapped as early as the 19th century
- Widespread use of insecticides may affect population
- Disease spread from cage birds a potential hazard
Ecology: The Red-and-blue Lory is found in forest and cultivated areas up to 1250m (4100 ft). It feeds on pollen, nectar, fruit and insects and flowering coconut palms. Birds are most commonly seen flying in groups of up to ten. Large numbers gather together to roost; they are very vocal at these gatherings.