Draft Species Profile: Chattering Lory Lorius garrulus Species

Draft Species Profile: Chattering Lory Lorius garrulus
Species Summary
Chattering Lory (Lorius garrulus): Parrot endemic to tropical lowlands, where it
is restricted to primary and mature secondary forest below 1500m. Occurs on
North Maluku, Indonesia, where it is known from Morotai, Rau, Halmahera,
Widi, Ternate, Bacan and Obi (BirdLife International 2012). Chattering lories are
locally common, but rare near settlements and plantations, likely due to trapping
pressure. Chattering lories are nectarivorous, and known to feed on flowering
palms, but chronically understudied in the wild, with no data available in the
literature. The species has no establishment history outside its native range and
even if animals escaped into the wild in Tasmania, they are very unlikely to
have any major impacts/consequences due to a very low likelihood of survival.
Given the low likelihood of establishment of a feral population, the potential
consequences of the species establishing in Tasmania are negligible. The
species current conservation and legal status in Tasmania is not applicable,
because the species does not occur on any lists of exotic birds available in the
state to the best of the authors knowledge, but is listed as vulnerable
internationally (IUCN, 2013). The benefit of importing this species is principally
personal because I will be able to bring my pet parrot with me when I move to
Tasmania (one bird only).
Provide information on the taxonomy of the species:
Chattering Lory (Animalia, Chordata, Aves, Psittaciformes, Lorius, garrulus).
Taxonomy: Psittacus garrulus Linnaeus, 1758, Halmahera.
Genus name
formerly given as Domicella Wagler, 1832, since Lorius Boddaert, 1783,
applicable to Eclectus, had priority; however, Boddaert's name was officially
suppressed in 1970, leaving Lorius Vigors, 1825, as the correct name for
present species and congeners. Forms a superspecies with L. domicella, L. lory
and L. hypoinochrous. Three subspecies of L. garrulus recognized: morotaianus
(van Bemmel, 1940) - Morotai and Rau, N Moluccas, garrulus (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Halmahera and adjacent islands, flavopalliatus Salvadori, 1877 - Bacan, Obi,
Kasiruta and Mandiole (summary from BirdLife International 2012). Hybrids
between subspecies are known, but not with other species. Lorius contains six
closely related species restricted to lowland tropical primary and secondary
forest of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, including the black-capped lorry L.
lory, a species already permitted in Tasmania.
Chattering lories measure 30 cm, weigh up to 260g for both sexes although
males may be heavier. Sexes monomorphic, predominantly red, mantle
sometimes with traces of yellow spotting depending on subspecies. Orange bill,
darker at base. Dull green thighs and wings. Yellow bend of wing and
underwing-coverts. Dark green tail tip. Voice is a distinctive, loud, nasal bray
given frequently in flight and a loud, disyllabic call. Subspecies similar to
nominate, but flavopalliatus has a yellow patch on the mantle (all other
subspecies are red on the mantle). The species is unlikely to be confused with
any other species. Related species are differentiable by markings on the head,
which is only red in L. garrulus.
Chattering lories are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN (BirdLife International
2012) but have no formal listing in Australia beyond inclusion in the Exotic Bird
Registration Scheme. The import will not contribute to any breeding program.
The conservation of the species is strongly impacted by illegal trade of live birds
(Lambert, 1993).
Live in pairs, breeding biology not researched in the wild but cavity nesting.
Considered to breeding from June to November in the wild, but based on limited
data. Captive birds lay two eggs and have a 76 day nestling period (Juniper &
Parr, 1998). Breed once annually in captivity. Sperm storage not recorded.
Hybridisation recorded only in captivity with other Lorius spp. No data on
differences between captive and wild populations.
Tropical lowland primary and mature secondary forest up to 1,050m, rarely in
gardens and coconut plantations, although this may reflect variations in trapping
pressure rather than habitat preference (BirdLife International 2012). Tolerate
some logging, but most abundant in primary forest. Canopy dwelling,
occasionally descending to the lower canopy to feed, nest in tree hollows
(Juniper an Parr 1998).
Endemic to North Maluku, Indonesia, where it is known from Morotai, Rau,
Halmahera, Widi, Ternate, Bacan and Obi (BirdLife International 2001). It is
locally common, but rare near settlements and plantations. No change in range
extent has been recorded. In 1991-1992, the population was estimated at
46,360-295,540 birds, with trappers potentially removing c.10% annually, a
clearly unsustainable rate of harvest. However, in 1994, 52,500 individuals
(39,600-69,900) were estimated in only 1,060 km2 of forest on Halmahera,
suggesting a higher population than initially calculated (BirdLife International
No introduced populations have been established for this species.
There are no weather stations within the geographic range of the chattering
lory, so running a Climatch profile based on the precise geographic range is not
possible. To address this, I have included a Climatch prediction based on the
entire geographic distribution of Lorius, including the range of the chattering
lorry as the western most limit, New Ireland and New Britain in the north and
south where white naped and purple bellied lories occur, and the Solomon
Islands in the east where yellow bibbed lories occur. By hand, I excluded
climate stations that occurred in the PNG highlands, because these are outside
the range of the black capped lory. Based on this greatly expanded climatic
profile based on the distribution of the Lorius spp. Climatch indicates a very low
likelihood of climatic suitability for any Lorius in Tasmania (or much of the
remainder of Australia). The highest score assigned to a Tasmanian pixel in the
model was 0 (Fig. 1).
Figure 1. Climatch output for the chattering lory on the basis of the entire
known geographic range of the species in the wild. Maximum score assigned to
a pixel is 0, indicated very low likelihood of climatic suitability.
Chattering lories are a species adapted for nectarivory in tropical lowland
rainforest. Although Tasmania supports its own suite of nectarivorous birds, a
very poor climate match based on the above climate model and a strongly
seasonal pattern in tree flowering in Tasmania for other nectarivores (Webb et
al., 2014) suggests that chattering lories would be unlikely to establish a wild
population in Tasmania. In the event that chattering lories escaped into the wild
in Tasmania, it is improbable that individuals would find sufficient food during
winter when tree flowering is scarce to absent, let alone tolerate the harsh
climatic conditions.
Chattering lories are chronically understudied in the wild and no robust data
exist. Captive data suggest the species is primarily nectarivorous. Limited data
from the wild indicate that coconut flowers are important food items, and fruit
forms an important component of captive diets (BirdLife International 2012,
Juniper and Parr 1998).
No reliable data are available from studies of wild populations. Juniper and Parr
(1998) note that they are found in pairs.
No data are available from the species natural distribution. No introduced
populations exist. It is likely that the species, like all parrots, is vulnerable to
Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (Ritchie et al., 2003).
The species is very unlikely to pose a threat to human safety. The species, like
all parrots, is vulnerable to a range of diseases in captivity. The disease most
likely to pose a threat to Tasmanian species is Psittacine Beak and Feather
Disease. This disease however already occurs in Tasmania both in wild and
captive populations of the two endangered endemic breeding parrots (Orangebellied Parrot Recovery Team, 2006; Sarker et al., 2013). Importation of the
species is unlikely to significantly increase the risk to wild birds in Tasmania by
means of PBFD.
Chattering lories have no history as pests because no introduced populations of
the species exist.
The species is very unlikely to pose a realistic risk to Tasmania. The species is
a tropical lowland parrot whose climatic tolerance and food preferences make it
highly unlikely to tolerate the conditions found in Tasmania outside of captivity.
Related species have no introduction history and closely related species are
already allowed in Tasmania.
None available.
The species needs no unusual care beyond the standard care given to other
aviary birds. Of particular importance is the use of safety precautions against
escape like safety walkways.
IUCN (2013) The IUCN Red List of threatened species. Version 2013.2. Available at:
(accessed 2014).
Juniper, T. & Parr, M. (1998) Parrots: a guide to parrots of the world. Pica Press,
Lambert, F.R. (1993) Trade, status and management of three parrots in the North
Moluccas, Indonesia: White Cockatoo Cacatua alba, Chattering Lory Lorius
garrulus and Violet–eared Lory Eos squamata. Bird Conservation
International, 3, 145-168.
Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Team (2006) Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Plan.
In. Department of Primary Industries and Water, Hobart.
Ritchie, P.A., Anderson, I.L. & Lambert, D.M. (2003) Evidence for specificity of
psittacine beak and feather disease viruses among avian hosts. Virology,
306, 109-115.
Sarker, S., Ghorashi, S.A., Forwood, J.K. & Raidal, S.R. (2013) Whole-Genome
Sequences of Two Beak and Feather Disease Viruses in the Endangered
Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor). . Genome Announcements, 1, e00842-1.
Webb, M.H., Wotherspoon, S., Stojanovic, D., Heinsohn, R., Cunningham, R., Bell, P.
& Terauds, A. (2014) Location matters: Using spatially explicit occupancy
models to predict the distribution of the highly mobile, endangered swift
parrot. Biological Conservation, 176, 99-108.