The citron-crested cockatoo is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation in Nature.
As of 2017, the wild population was estimated to be between 500-5,000.
The main threats to citron-crested cockatoos are trapping for the illegal cage-bird trade and habitat loss resulting from deforestation. Citron-crested cockatoos depend on forests for food and nesting. Sumba Island has lost 90% of its native forest. The citron-crested cockatoo also has a low reproductive output which means it takes longer for the population to recover when conservation measures are put in place.
They sometimes feed on agricultural crops e.g. maize which brings them into conflict with local farmers. In general, animals like the citron-crested cockatoo, whose range is restricted (e.g. living on an island), and/or whose population is small, face additional threats for example, isolation of the population may lead to inbreeding with a resultant reduction in genetic variation making the population vulnerable to disease outbreaks and environmental disasters particularly as they cannot escape or replenish the population from other sources without human help.
Dublin Zoo took over the management of the European Zoo Breeding Programme for this species in 2004, this means that we manage the breeding of citron-crested cockatoos across all European zoos. A bit like a cockatoo match-maker, we choose suitable mates among zoos.
In 2011, Dublin Zoo provided funding for research in Indonesia to establish why breeding output was so low among the population of citron-crested cockatoos on Sumba Island.