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Facts About Indonesian Animals




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Babies of orangutan sold at bird markets freelyBabies of orangutan sold at bird markets freely

Indonesia is famous for its great biodiversity. It is estimated that as many as 300,000 animal species are inhabit its many ecosystems. This equates to 17% of worldwide fauna species, these across only 1.3% of the world's landmass. With 515 species, Indonesia has more species of mammal than any other nation. There are 1539 bird species and 50% of all the world's fish species can be found in its marine and freshwater systems.

However, Indonesia also has the most endangered species. The World Conservation Union (IUCN, 2003) lists as endangered 147 mammals, 114 birds, 91 fish and 2b invertebrate species. Major conservation efforts are vital if these species are not to become extinct in the near future.

Trade in wild animals is a serious threat to many species in Indonesia. Over 95% of animals sold in markets are taken directly from the wild and not from captive breeding stocks. More than 20% of animals sold at market die in transportation. Despite this, many endangered and protected species are traded freely, with the rarer species commanding higher prices.

Other facts:

  1. Approximately 115,000 parrots are trapped each year in the wild in Papua and Maluku, including the highly endangered palm Cockatoo (Probosciger atterimus), Black headed Lory (Lorius lory) and Yellow Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita).
  2. In 1999, around 27,000 turtles are slaughtered each year in Bali for satay ( a food delicacy) and their shells used to make cheap ornaments for tourists. Although there has been a degree of success in fighting and reducing the trade by 80%, the illegal smuggling of the turtles to Bali still takes place.
  3. Each year 1000 Kalimantan (Borneo) Orangutans are smuggled to Java and overseas.To capture the Orangutan babies, the hunters will kill the mothers. At least one Orangutan dies for each baby taken.
  4. At least 2500 Javanese ebony langur (Trachypithecus auratus) each year are hunted for illegal trade and for meat.
  5. At least 3000 Gibbons are hunted each year for domestic wildlife trade or to be smuggled overseas.
  6. 40% of trapped wild animals die as a result of cruelty and pain inflicted during their capture, transportation, cramped cages and inadequate food and water.
  7. 60% of animalss illegally traded in the local wildlife markets are from endangered species and which are by suppose to be protected by law.
  8. 70% of primates and cockatoos kept as pets suffer from physical and behavioral problems
Bears part tradeBears part trade

It is common in Indonesia for people to keep wild animals in cages, often without realizing that this can be cruel to the animal and damaging to the species. Singing bird competitions are common in some regions of the country, particularly Java, stimulating hunting and trade of certain species, some of them endangered.

Sea turtle slaughterSea turtle slaughter

The above issues demonstrate the great complexity and diversity of problems facing Indonesia's wildlife. Enforcement must be undertaken wholeheartedly and awareness programs for wild animal protection consistently carried out if more species are not to become extinct in the country. ProFauna therefore acknowledges the importance of support from all sources to efforts to protect the uniquely rich biodiversity of this beautiful country.