Purple-naped Lory Lorius domicella


Justification of Red List Category
This species has been uplisted to Endangered as its population is suspected (based on multiple accounts of its increased rarity in recent years) to have fallen below 2,500 mature individuals, with no more than 250 mature individuals in any one subpopulation. Heavy and unsustainable trapping is the primary driver of declines.

Population justification
The population population was previously estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals, or 1,500-7,000 mature individuals, based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. Given the lack of recent records and apparent scarcity of the species, and the extent of ongoing trapping pressure and habitat loss since the original estimate in 2000, the population is suspected to have declined such that the population estimate is now best placed in the band 1,000-2,499 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Heavy trapping for local and domestic trade as well as on-going forest loss driven by logging, oil drilling and hydroelectric power schemes are thought to be causing a rapid and ongoing decline in the species.

Distribution and population

Lorius domicella is endemic to the islands of Seram, Ambon, and perhaps also Haruku and Saparua, South Maluku, Indonesia. It appears always to have been uncommon or rare, recent records deriving only from within Manusela National Park in central Seram, where it is scarce, and from the Wae Fufa catchment in the east, where it is fairly common on ridges between 900 and 1,050 m. It was thought to probably be distributed thinly throughout the island at appropriate altitudes, but may have been trapped out from most of the island by 2009 (J. Hornbuckle in litt. 2011), with birds absent in 2006 from all sites where they were fairly common in 1994 (R. Hutchinson in litt. 2011). There are unconfirmed local reports that it still survives above Hila on Ambon. Historically at least, an apparently feral population also existed on the island of Buru.


It inhabits hill and submontane rainforest, sometimes preferring ridges, within a fairly restricted altitudinal range (between 300 and 1,100 m, but only common between 600 and 1,000 m). In one recent study it was not found in logged forest, suggesting intolerance of degradation. It lives in pairs or scattered flocks and is thought to be largely sedentary.


This species is widely trapped and kept as a pet in large numbers in villages throughout Seram, where it is much admired for its melodious call and skilful mimicry, and it was reportedly 'mostly trapped out' on the island by 2009 (J. Hornbuckle in litt. 2011). Knowledgeable former trappers report that it has markedly declined and is now hard to find (S. Metz in litt. 2011). It is also traded externally, to Ambon at least (for which permits exist legalising trade of 300-600 parrots per week), and is a popular souvenir of Seram for visitors. Its apparent avoidance of logged forest indicates that habitat degradation, and certainly deforestation, poses a serious threat. Widespread commercial timber extraction, oil drilling and hydroelectric projects are thus further pressures within its range.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II and protected under Indonesian law since 1972. It occurs in one protected area, Manusela National Park, from whence most recent records derive, although the level of protection is unknown. A programme of local awareness, targeting Salmon-crested Cockatoo Cacatua moluccensis and linked with the promotion of ecotourism, may be of benefit to this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to clarify its current distribution and status, and to assess more specifically its ecological requirements and tolerance of habitat degradation. Monitor domestic trade and implement current legislation in an attempt to control trapping. Devise and implement a major conservation awareness campaign on Seram designed to reduce trapping and trade pressure (for this and other endemic parrots). Establish a strict nature reserve in the Wae Fufa catchment and adjacent ridges and valleys of north-east Seram.  Develop a structured captive breeding programme for future reintroduction and supplementation efforts, in addition to meeting avicultural demands.


28 cm. Spectacular, forest-dwelling parrot. Mainly red, with orange bill. Black cap shading to violet at rear, variable yellow band across upper breast. Purplish blue thighs. Largely green wings. Red, broad and rounded tail, tipped brownish-red. Similar spp. Red Lory Eos bornea and Blue-eared Lory E. semilarvata have longer, pointed slender tails, largely red wings and caps. Female Eclectus Parrot Eclectus roratus has large, black bill and purple patches on belly. Voice Melodious whistling wee-ooo wee-auuh, unlike the shrieks of Eos spp.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Symes, A., Tobias, J.

Hornbuckle, J., Hutchinson, R., Metz, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Lorius domicella. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/08/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/08/2019.