June 25, 2015
This article was produced under the Mongabay Reporting Network and can be re-published on your web site or blog or in your magazine, newsletter, or newspaper under these terms.
The Indonesian shop owner turns and motions to the back of the grubby, concrete-floor stall.
Beyond the boxes of chirping parakeets stacked four high, two bamboo cages hang from the low ceiling. Inside each is a chattering lory (Lorius garrulus), a forest-dwelling parrot endemic to North Maluku, which over the past 25 years has seen its population plummet by between 30 and 50 percent, according to Birdlife International.
"From Ambon, very beautiful bird," the shop owner says, pointing to the two cages.
The two parrots, each about 30 centimeters in length and mostly red, with green thighs and wings, bob mutely on their perches. In the wild, getting a glimpse of the noisy birds, which are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is increasingly difficult.