Red Bird-of-paradise Paradisaea rubra


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very small range and probably has a small population. It is likely to be declining slowly as a result of limited habitat loss, and trends in human activity and population change should be monitored carefully to clarify the level of threat. It is currently considered Near Threatened.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as common in suitable habitats.

Trend justification
Precise data on population trends are unavailable, but this species presumably remains stable across much of its range, as habitats are relatively intact. Habitat loss has occurred on a local scale, and some persecution occurs, so a slow decline is suspected overall.

Distribution and population

Paradisea rubra is endemic to the West Papuan islands of Waigeo, Batanta, Gemien and Saonek off north-west Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), Indonesia, where it is common in suitable habitats.


This species occurs in forest and forest edge in the lowlands and hills, up to 600 m (Beehler et al. 1986, Gibbs 1993, Poulsen and Frolander 1994, Eastwood 1996a).


Waigeo's rugged relief and lack of infrastructure suggest there may be no serious immediate threats to its forests. Selective logging has been reported in the north of Waigeo, the south-east corner of the island was ravaged by fire in 1982, and there are concerns over a cobalt mining concession on the island (Dekker and Argeloo 1993, WWF-IUCN 1994-1995, Dekker and McGowan 1995, Sujatnika et al. 1995). Logging on Batanta (where the only protected area is only 100 km2) is resulting in major habitat loss but this species's tolerance of logged forest is poorly known. As well as possibly declining from habitat degradation, this species is hunted locally for skins and possibly cage-birds (Frith and Beehler 1988, D. Gibbs in litt. 2000).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Pulau Waigeo nature reserve, established in the late 1980s, covers 1,530 km2, but there are reports that it may be substantially reduced in size (Holmes 1989, Dekker and McGowan 1995).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys within the species's range to determine its current distribution and abundance, as well as assess population trends and rates of habitat loss. Conduct ecological studies to improve understanding of its precise habitat requirements, tolerance of secondary habitats and response to fragmentation. Ensure the future integrity of existing protected areas within the species's range, e.g. Pulau Waigeo.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Taylor, J.

Gibbs, D.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Paradisaea rubra. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/04/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/04/2020.