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The Threat Category of Flores Hanging-parrot Has Decreased

The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently announced new information regarding the threat status of all flora and fauna in the world. Out of 11.147 bird species which have been recognized and studied to date, 127 species obtained a change in threat status, many of them are now increasingly at risk of extinction.

The good news is, some of them are also experiencing a reduced risk of extinction, namely a species of parrot endemic to Nusa Tenggara, Flores Hanging-parrot (Loriculus osculus). Since 2000, this little green bird has been designated by the IUCN as an endangered species in the Endangered (EN) category, but now its category has been increased to Vulnerable (VU)—a level below EN category. This also explains that this species still exists in its natural habitat in greater numbers of population than previously thought.

The Flores Hanging-parrot is one of six species which endemic to the Island of Flores, East Nusa Tenggara.

The bird is habitating tropical semi evergreen and tropical deciduous forests2. Small range and lessening main forest habitat, both by area and quality, were the reasons of Flores Hanging-parrot stayed on its place on globally1 threatened species category.

However, companies of Flores Hanging-parrot, up to 10 individuals per hectare, can still be found in its primary distribution location3. A survey conducted by Burung Indonesia on Flores Island in early to mid-2013 confirmed that the western part of the island was occupied by its main populations.

Compared to other Flores endemic species, this small fruit-eating bird with red pattern on the tail is on better fate. The Flores Crow, Flores Monarch, Flores Scops-owl and others are still categorized as endangered status. However, the threatened status of Flores Hanging-parrot could worsen again if conservation measures are not intensified. The forest fragmentation, clearance and quality degradation are pertinent threats for the species population.

In an effort to protect and manage forests, Burung Indonesia has been working in one of the primary distribution zones of Flores Hanging-parrot: the forest area of Mbeliling Landscape. Internationally this area is recognized as an important bird area (Important Bird Area; IBA). Since 2007, Burung Indonesia and the communities from 27 villages surrounding the Mbeliling Forest have jointly made an agreement on the management and conservation of the village's nature. The agreement regulated the principles, responsibilities, and rights of each stakeholder in the utilization and conservation of natural resources in the village. To support its implementation, community forest conservation groups were formed and performed important roles in monitoring ecosystem services, preventing cut-and-burn agriculture practices, protecting water sources through tree planting, and monitoring of forest disturbances, including the expansion of agricultural activities into forest areas4.4.

Protection and sustainable forest management will continue to be a challenge for bird conservation on Flores Island, not only for the continuity and sustainability of the Flores Hanging-parrot population, but also for other endemic and endangered bird species, such as the Flores Hawk-eagle. There are estimated not more than 240 individuals of Flores Hawk-eagle distributed on Flores Island and nearby islands, so the IUCN declared the species as a Critically Endangered category on the Red List. (Achmad R. Junaid)


  1. BirdLife International. Loriculus flosculus . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T22685428A156225653. (2019). Available at: (Accessed: 13th December 2019)
  2. Collar, N. . de J. E. & B. P. Flores Hanging-parrot (Loriculus flosculus). 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. (2019). Available at: (Accessed: 16th December 2019)
  3. Birdlife International. Threatened Birds of Asia. in Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book (ed. Collar, N. J.) 268–269 (BirdLife International, 2001). doi:10.1017/S0030605302220141
  4. Widyanto, A., Utomo, A. B., Walsh, T. & Lionata, H. Forestering stakeholder commitment in Western Flores, Indonesia. ETFRN News 56, 94–100 (2014).