Palm Cockatoo Probosciger aterrimus


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). 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.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is still recorded relatively commonly and appears to have a large overall population. The subspecies macgillivrayi is believed to have a stable population of c.3,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of exploitation.

Distribution and population

This species is found in Australia and New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea). In Australia, subspecies macgillivrayi is confined to the northern Cape York Peninsula, from Pormpuraaw on the west coast to Princess Charlotte Bay on the east. In New Guinea, it is widespread and tolerant of degraded forest habitats, mostly in the lowlands and foothills but occasionally up to 1,350 m.


In some parts of its range, the woodland habitat in which hollow trees occur is being invaded by rainforest. The fire which maintains the rainforest/woodland ecotone also has the potential to reduce hollow availability if managed incorrectly, particularly where rainforest is stable or contracting (Garnett and Crowley 2000).


Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Probosciger aterrimus. Downloaded from on 24/09/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/09/2023.