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Moluccan Cockatoo

Cacatua moluccensis
Conservation Status: 
Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
Range: 
Indonesia, in the Molucca Islands
Habitat: 
Lowland forests

Moluccan cockatoos have special feathers that break into tiny pieces of keratin instead.  This powder makes other feathers water-resistant and easier to clean.  In many other bird species this function is filled by an oil-producing gland, so the Moluccan cockatoo does not have that gland.  They are very social birds that travel in flocks.  The flock forages together and members alert each other to predators.  They eat seeds, nuts, fruit, coconut and sometimes insects.

Their population trend is in decline due to trapping for the exotic pet trade and habitat loss. During the height of the trapping of this species, over 6,000 birds were being removed from the wild per year. Now only about 2,000 exist in the wild. Despite their protected status, illegal trapping continues to this day.

Moluccan cockatoos can live up to 60 years.