Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as common to abundant (Feare and Craig 1998).
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to trade and to widespread forest destruction, although rates of decline are unlikely to be higher than moderate, as this species is tolerant of secondary and degraded habitats.
This species occurs from east and north-east India east to southern China, and south through south-east Asia to Palawan (Philippines), Borneo and the Greater Sundas, including Enggano Island (Indonesia). There are also introduced populations in several places, including Puerto Rico (to USA). The introduced population on Christmas Island (to Australia) has died out.
This species occurs in moist or semi-evergreen forest in lowlands, hills and mountains. It is known for its ability to mimic noises including human speech.
This species is tolerant of some degree of habitat degradation. However,it has been heavily traded: from 1994-2003, over 170,000 wild-caught individuals were exported from range states (UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database, October 2005.). It is one of the most popular avian pets in Asia, due to its ability to mimic noises and human speech. Trade, acting in conjunction with habitat loss throughout the species' range, appears to have seriously impacted this species, with significant population declines due to trade noted in China, Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand (all major declines), the Philippines, and parts of India and Laos (Pilgrim et al. in prep.). In all of these cases, the major trade demand has been domestic, rather than international. As a result of concerns about international trade, this species was included in CITES Appendix III at the request of Thailand in 1992 and subsequently included in Appendix II in 1997 on the recommendation of the Netherlands and the Philippines.
Text account compilers
Martin, R, Stattersfield, A., Pilgrim, J., Westrip, J., Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S.
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Gracula religiosa. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/03/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/03/2019.