Flying Without Wings (Part II)
Investigation by ProFauna Indonesia of Parrot Trapping on Seram Island, Maluku, Indonesia
After finishing its investigation in 2001-2002 about the trapping and trade of cockatoos and parrots in North Maluku, ProFauna Indonesia conducted a similar investigation in the south part of Maluku Province, Indonesia. The investigation was carried out between December 2003 and May 2004 and was funded by Project Bird Watch/the Indonesian Parrot Project.
South Maluku is home to some magnificent species of parrot, including the Salmon-crested (or Seram) cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis), red lory (Eos bornea), blue-eared lory (Eos semilarvata) and rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus).
The salmon-crested cockatoo is endemic to Seram Island and is now felt to be extinct on Haruku and Saparua. It has been reported on Ambon, but these most likely are escaped birds, not true endemics. In the 1970ís, this bird was very common in Maluku, and could be seen in large flocks, but now it is difficult to find them in the wild.
The Salmon-crested cockatoo originating from South Maluku has been protected by Indonesian law. Although other psittacines from South Maluku (such as the red lory, blue-eared lory, and rainbow lorikeet) have not been protected by specific laws , trapping quotas have already been prepared to protect them. Thus, any trapping of parrots in this region is forbidden.
Despite this, the 6-month investigation by ProFauna Indonesia in Ambon and Seram demonstrated that trapping and hunting of parrots in Maluku still occurs. At least 9600 parrots from Seram Island sent to Jakarta every year illegally. ProFauna has been able to document the process of trapping, shipping and trading of these endangered species. Trade in the Salmon-crested cockatoo was frequently documented in some bird markets in Java.
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