As for taking the bird with you in the future, I wouldn’t consider that right now, unless the bird is used to such…possible only with certain very well-habituated birds.

Further web sources of informationDetailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

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Largely resident in lowland rainforest below 1,000 meters above sea level (2) (5).

Moluccans are considered by many to be among the most intelligent and responsive of all cockatoos.  Pets are often described as sociable and affectionate, and may form extremely strong bonds to a single person.  Professional trainers, zoo educators and others who use Moluccan Cockatoos in bird shows and demonstrations rave about their abilities to learn tricks and mimic words and sounds.

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JustificationThis cockatoo qualifies as Vulnerable because, like its congeners, it is a very popular cagebird and has suffered a rapid population decline as a result of trapping for trade, combined with deforestation in its small range. Moreover, this decline is projected to continue and perhaps accelerate. Should the species be found to be declining at a more rapid rate, it will warrant uplisting to a higher category of threat.

As is true for any species confined to a small island, storms and similar natural events can cause overnight population crashes.

It’s not easy to stand-out among such spectacular birds as the cockatoos, but the Moluccan Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) does so admirably.  In size, color, trainability, and many other ways, it is in a class by itself.  This adds to the species’ allure, but there is a downside…wild populations are plummeting, and their needs, as pets, are beyond the capabilities of many owners.

In the wild the salmon-crested cockatoo inhabits lowland forests below 1000 m. The diet consists mainly of seeds, nuts and fruit, as well as coconuts. There is additional evidence that they eat insects off the ground, and pet Moluccan cockatoos have tested positive for anemia if their diet does not include enough protein.

Four days ago I gave up my 3year old mollucan to a wonderful lady who has several birds. I miss her terribly and wondered ..in time…if I would be able to visit her . Is she in emotional pain as I am. We have an extremely strong bond but because of the screaming and disturbing neighbors I had to give her up. I don’t want to cause her more stress or pain by visiting her but I thought in tint we could spend a little time together maybe twice a month. Please advise me. Thank you

Desirable qualities tempt many to underestimate the difficulties entailed in owning a cockatoo of any species.  Please research carefully, speak with cockatoo owners and write me for advice before acquiring one of these magnificent birds.

Bottom two Moluccan Cockatoo images referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Mahbob Yusef

In the past, populations were decimated by collection for the pet trade.  Estimates place the numbers exported between 1980 and 1990 at 75,000+; in-country sales were also significant.  Despite legal protections, poaching continues, and wild-caught cockatoos are sold openly in some Indonesian markets.

Text account compilersBenstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Derhé, M., Tobias, J.

The Moluccan Cockatoo is known from only 4 small islands within the Malaccan or Spice Island chain in Indonesia.  It seems now to have disappeared as a breeding bird from all except Seram Island, where only two significant populations remain.

Authenticated (24/09/07) by Dr Stuart J. Marsden, Applied Ecology Group, Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Hi , I have a question about the breeding condition how long does it usually last and how many times a year does it happen? When I gave Milo up to a breeder he said it was he was constantly frustrated by my female goffin cockatoo. Could you give me more information about this. Thanks

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The Moluccan Cockatoo is listed on CITES Appendix I and classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN.  Habitat loss due to lumbering and dam building appears to be the greatest current threat.

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A loud (even by parrot standards!), shrill call and copious powder-down production are other points to consider.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Just as a word of caution, if you do take the bird and it’s out at the same time and in the same room as the others, be careful that the Moluccan can’t get at the other birds, since it could easily harm or kill a smaller bird.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

Metz, S.; Nursahid, R. 2004. Trapping and smuggling of Salmon-crested Cockatoos: an undercover investigation in Seram, Indonesia. PsittaScene 16: 8-9.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

Salmon-crested Cockatoo

Collar, N. J.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2013. Conservation breeding and avian diversity: chances and challenges. International Zoo Yearbook.

ReferencesBirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

A large indoor cage or outdoor aviary, along with ample out-of-cage time, is absolutely essential to their well-being.  Please write in for information on care and feeding.

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Great article Frank. Thanks for pointing out the difficulties with living with a Moluccan cockatoo!

Taxonomic source(s)del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Most important would be to get a complete background on the bird, as training etc must be geared to the individual – there are general rules, but a great deal of variation and what works with one may not with another.

Hey frank, how is a rose breasted cockatoo for a pet?

The salmon-crested cockatoo is endemic to the southern Moluccan Islands of Indonesia, where it is currently known chiefly from Seram and possibly at one locality on Ambon, although historical records also exist from the adjacent islands of Haruku and Separua (5) (6).

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1), and listed on Appendix I of CITES (3).

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