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40 © University of Andalas / Copenhagen Zoo
On the 7th January 2016, during an ad hoc visit to the
Pramuka Bird Market in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta,
a single Blue-faced honey-eater, Entomyzon cyanotis
was observed for sale as a cage bird. The Pramuka
Bird Market is the largest of its kind in Asia, and has
been subject to numerous surveys, including a full
inventory carried out in 2014 (Chng et al. 2015). To the
knowledge of the authors, this is the rst time Blue-
faced honey-eater has been observed in trade in Jakarta
- home to the largest bird markets in Asia - although not
the rst time the species has been observed in trade in
Indonesia. During surveys carried out on 22-24th June
2015 by TRAFFIC in bird markets in eastern Java, four
individuals were observed in Kupang, Surabaya, and
one in Malang.
The single Blue-faced honey-eater observed in Pramuka
Bird Market was of unknown gender (the species is not
sexually dimorphic) and was considered to be of the
race griseigularis, based on information from the bird
dealer, who claimed it, and a further three pairs he said
were kept out of sight in the market, were sourced from
the island of Papua. Of the three subspecies currently
recognised, two occur in and northern and eastern
Australia, and griseigularis in Papua (Higgins et al.
2016). The dealer said the birds were priced at 5 million
Indonesian Rupiah (USD 360) per pair.
Assessed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species (BirdLife, 2012), the Blue-faced
honey-eater is considered to be widespread and not
necessarily threatened and trade is not currently listed as
a potential threat. Nevertheless, the species is protected
by Indonesian law, and trade in it is therefore illegal.
While numbers of Blue-faced honey-eater currently
in trade appear to be low, individuals and organisations
monitoring the trade should be vigilant, as shifts in
demand and preferences are frequent in the bird trade.
The species is easily recognisable by the bare patch of
blue skin around the eyes, the black with white stripes
around the nape and across the cheeks, the olive mantle,
back and wings and white underparts. It is a relatively
large honey-eater, ranging from 26-32cm that possesses
a downward curving bill, rounded wings and a squarish
medium-length tail (Higgins et al. 2016).
We thank Resit Sözer and Serene Chng for contributing
information to this note and to Richard Thomas for very
helpful comments on an earlier draft.
BirdLife International (2012). Entomyzon cyanotis.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012:
Downloaded on 18 January 2016.
Chng, S. C. L., Eaton, J. A., Krishnasamy, K.,
Shepherd, C. R. and V. Nijman (2015). In the Market
for Extinction: An inventory of Jakarta’s bird markets.
TRAFFIC. Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Higgins, P., Christidis, L. and H. Ford (2016). Blue-
faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis). In: del Hoyo,
J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E.
(eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx
Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.
com/node/60412 on 17 January 2016).
Jessica G.H. Lee¹ and Chris R. Shepherd²
¹Department of Conservaon and Research, Wildlife Reserves Singapore
²TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia
Corresponding author: Chris Shepherd, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Observations of Blue-faced honeyeater (Entomyzon
cyanotis) in trade in Javan bird markets
Received 15th April, 2016; Accepted 17th June, 2016