Cacatua moluccensis
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Family

  • Cacatuidae

Lifespan

  • 65-80 years

Size

  • Length: 19-20 inches
  • Weight: 2 lbs

Range

  • Found in Indonesian Islands (Sapaura, Haruku, and Ceram). 
  • Breeding populations are only found on Ceram.

Habitat

  • They live in dense lowland forests and wooded mountain slopes. Moluccans make their nests in hollow trees, using woodchips for bedding.

Diet

  • Wild: Herbivorous, eating seeds, fruits, nuts, and berries
  • Zoo: Parrot chow, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Receive seeds and nuts for treats.

Reproduction

  • There are 2-6 eggs in each clutch with an incubation period of 29-30 days.

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  • Both parents take turns incubating the eggs.
  • After the eggs hatch, there is a fledging period of approximately 3 months.
  • Young Moluccans receive constant attention from their both of their parents which includes: preening, protection, cuddling, instruction and reassurance.

General Information

  • Habitat destruction due to heavy logging in Indonesia has threatened the Moluccan Cockatoo.
  • Moluccans are flock animals with well defended flock rules, schedules and a hierarchy which each bird learns as they mature.
  • These birds can mimic the sounds of other animals including people. They are also known for their ear-splitting calls. When cornered or aroused they may make a hissing noise. Moluccan cockatoos also communicate with their movement and feather positions.
  • Moluccans take advantage of the wet foliage in the treetops by fluttering through it for a bath.

Interesting Facts

  • The oldest Moluccan on record lived to be 125 years old – owned by a family in England.
  • In the 17th century Moluccans were seen as a “religious icon.” In those days it was assumed that only humans could speak, so when pet cockatoos began to mimic, it was believe that God must be talking through them.
  • Moluccans have a water-proof dust coating their feathers, and sometimes hang upside down during rainstorms to take baths.
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Conservation status

  • IUCN: Vulnerable
  • CITES: Appendix I
  • Common in the pet trade, illegal capture and exportation of these and other tropical parrots is still a major problem with wild populations today
    • Approximately 70-80% of animals illegally transported over borders for the pet trade die either en route or shortly after arrival.  The United States is one of the top destinations for these birds and other illegally transported animals. 
  • Deforestation in Indonesia is a common threat to these animals, destroying nesting and feeding sites, often killing nest-bound young in the process

Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org
  3. World Parrot Trust. Accessed December 2012. www.parrots.org
  4. Audobon. Bird: The Definitive Visual Guide. New York, New York. DK Publishing. 2007.