Papuan King Parrot (Alisterus chloropterus)

Papuan King Parrot

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Alisterus chloropterus | [authority] Ramsay, 1879 | [UK] Papuan King Parrot | [FR] Perruche a ailes vertes | [DE] Papuasittich | [ES] Papagayo Papu | [NL] Groenvleugelkoningsparkiet | [copyright picture] Nik Borrow


Monotypic species


Classified in the subfamily Psittacinae within the true parrot family, the genus Alisterus was described by Australian amateur ornithologist Gregory Mathews in 1911. They were previously considered part of the genus Aprosmictus, which contains the Red-winged and Olive-shouldered Parrots. The king parrots appear to be most closely related to the genera Aprosmictus and the long-tailed parrots of the genus Polytelis, united by similarities in food begging and contact calls by chicks, and by more recent molecular analysis in 2005. The molecular work placed this group in turn as sister to a group containing Eclectus, Tanygnathus, and Psittacula. The three species are forest-dwelling, and are found singly, in pairs, or in groups.

Physical charateristics

A.c. chloropterus: male-red head and underparts; upper mantle black with blue band, extending to nape; folded wing has yellow/green blaze; rest of wing dark green; blue back, rump and upper tail coverts; black tail. Upper mandible orange/red tipped with black, grey/black lower mandible. Eye orange. Female-dull green head, back and wings; dull green throat and breast margined with red; dark green tail. Upper mandible orange/brown tipped with grey. A.c. callopterus: male-as in chloropterus, but blue band on mantle not extended to hindneck and nape. Female-as in chloropterus. A.c. moszkowskii: male-as in callopterus. Female-as in male.

Listen to the sound of Papuan King Parrot

[audio: King Parrot.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Mike Catsis

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 36 cm size max.: 38 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


Australasia : New Guinea. Restricted to the island of New Guinea where it is present in Indonesian Papua (formerly Irian Jaya) as well as Papua New Guinea. The northern race moszkiowskii and the central highlands race callopterus occur within Indonesia.


Shaded interior of hill rainforest, middle storey to lower canopy; less common in monsoon forest and second growth up to c. 2,300 m. and occasionally higher or down at sea level.


No data, clutsch size in captivity 3-4 eggs.

Feeding habits

Diet consists of casuarina fruits, seeds, berries and nuts. Quiet and inconspicuous while feeding in lower and middle canopy.

Video Papuan King Parrot


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Although still locally common, the species is probably suffering from trade to some degree (although it is not clear how this assessment was made and whether it implies that trade is at unsustainable levels). Some females can resemble Australian King Parrot A. scapularis closely so trade may be hard to monitor accurately.
Habitat loss and alteration is occurring within its range in Indonesia. This is especially important in the lowlands where large areas have been converted to oil palm plantations and selectively logged forest. Particularly important is whether it can survive in numbers in selectively logged forest but no convincing data are available on this.
Papuan King Parrot status Least Concern


Probably sedentary

Distribution map

Papuan King Parrot distribution range map

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