Moluccan Eclectus Eclectus roratus


Justification of Red List category
This species has a very 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). The population size may be small, 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). 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). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
Recent surveys and estimates indicate that the population of Eclectus roratus remains large. On Halmahera, the population just in the Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park was estimated at 4,463 individuals in 2012 (Bashari 2012), suggesting that the population across the whole island totals close to 10,000 individuals. The above population estimate was derived from Marsden (1998, 1999) population density estimates of 5.9 individuals/km2 on Halmahera, 7.4-13 inds/km2 on Seram and 1.9-13 inds/km2 on Buru. Whilst the estimate of the number of mature individuals displays a large range, it is likely that the population exceeds the threshold required for listing as threatened (<10,000 for Criterion C; <1000 for Criterion D).

Trend justification
It is likely that the population of E. roratus is displaying a decreasing trend as a result of hunting and trapping for wildlife trade (Cottee-Jones et al. 2014, Collar et al. 2019). A recent estimate suggests 810 (+/- 153) individuals are harvested annually for trade on the island of Obi alone and whilst this estimate is thought to be excessively high, the species is now considered uncommon on Obi and was being traded at twice the price of any other parrot species in the bird market hence, the population on Obi is in significant decline and considered Threatened (Mittermeier et al. 2013, Cottee-Jones et al. 2014). The populations on other islands, such as Bacan or Halamahera, is much less concerning and the species is considerably more common. As a result, it is reasonable to infer that there the population of E. roratus is declining but that the overall rate of decline is unlikely to approach the threshold for listing as threatened.

Distribution and population

Eclectus roratus includes the two subspecies E. r. voesmaeri and E. r. roratus and together, they exhibit an extremely large range spreading throughout the Moluccas, Indonesia, having been found on the islands of Morotai, Halmahera, Ternate, Bacan and Obi (including some smaller islands), and Buru, Seram, Ambon, Haruku and Saparua (Collar et al. 2019).


The Moluccan Eclectus occupies the canopy of all wooded habitats. It is most common in primary lowland forest but is also found from coast to mid-montane areas, including mangroves, nypa forest, freshwater swamp, dryland forest, coastal scrub, denser savanna woodland, parkland, plantations, secondary growth and garden areas. The species becomes much rarer above 1000 m but has been encountered up to 1900 m (Collar et al. 2019). Typically feeds on fruits, seeds, nuts, leaf-buds and blossoms; has been said to raid gardens for fruit on the island of Obi also (Collar et al. 2019). Generally breeds between August and September, possibly January, November on Buru, but is very likely at any time of the year. Nests in holes high up on tree, generally in a clearing or at forest edge, with up to eight birds attending each nest (Collar et al. 2019).


The largest threat currently posed to this species comes from hunting and trapping for the wildlife trade. This has led to a notable decline in the species population but not to a sufficient degree to classify E. roratus as threatened (Cottee-Jones et al. 2014, Collar et al. 2019).


35-42 cm; 355-725 g. Male green; upper mandible yellowish red, lower black; flanks and underwing-coverts red; leading edge of wing blue; primaries with deep blue; tail with increasing blue suffusion laterally, below brownish black, tipped yellowish white both sides. Female red, darker on back and wings; bill black; lower breast to abdomen, underwing-coverts and band across mantle purplish blue; leading edge of wing blue; primaries with deep blue; tail above tipped orange-yellow, below dark red becoming orange-pink distally. Immature resembles adult of respective sex, bill greyer. E. r. vosmaeri make has yellow tinge to head, female yellow undertail-coverts.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Everest, J., Ekstrom, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Eclectus roratus. Downloaded from on 24/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/02/2024.