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Eclectus 

Eclectus 

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Millie 

Papuan Eclectus 

Eclectus polychloros

Hatch date:  1996

Age: 26

Sex: Female?

 2022 Sponsors: 

Inas R.

Maureen S.

Natalie C. 

Kevin L. 

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Population Size

990,000 - 1,100,000

Length

40-45cm

Lifespan

30-40 years

Wingspan 

20-25cm

Weight

397-425g

Geographic Range 

The Papuan Eclectus is native to the tropical lowland and lower montane rainforests of the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, parts of Indonesia (the Kai Islands, the Aru Islands, and Baik), the Bismarck Archipelago and the most northern parts of Queensland, Australia. 

Lifestyle & Adaptations

Eclectus parrots exhibit two unique adaptations not commonly seen in other parrot species: ​extreme colour differentiation between males and females, and polygamy (multiple mates). During the breeding season, pairs will nest within hollow of large trees. Due to lack of availability of nest hollows (I) females will rarely leave their nests for up to 11 months, relying on multiple male partners to feed her. The females must remain visible from the entrance to her nest hollow hence her bright plumage. On the other hand males must blend into the forest canopy as they forage for food and travel from female to female, hence his green colouration. 

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Conservation Status 

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Population Size

Decreasing 

Threats

The Eclectus parrot is a popular pet and often trapped and trafficked in the illegal wildlife trade industry. Bans against the international trade of exotic and endangered species has helped to reduce trapping but not eliminated it. Additionally, large-scale clearance of land for agriculture is reducing key habitat and breeding grounds necessary for reproduction. 

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Did you know...

That female Eclectus parrots can skew the sex of their offspring! Studies have documented females producing long strings of the same sex beyond what would have been expected through random chance. One female even had 20 sons before switching to daughters (II)! 

That Eclectus parrots have a recessive plumage. If an Eclectus has two copies of the same recessive gene it will be born blue! 

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That until the 20th century male and female Eclectus parrots were thought to be two separate species. 

References

(I) Heinsohn, R. (2008). The ecological basis of unusual sex roles in reverse-dichromatic eclectus parrots. Animal Behaviour, 76(1), 97-103.

(II) Navara, K., J. (2018). 5.1 Case Study: Extreme Sex Ratio Biases in Eclectus Parrots. Choosing Sexes: Mechanisms and Adaptive Patterns of Sex Allocation in Vertebrates (pp. 71-72) Springer. 

https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/155073767/155087778