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Lory and Cockatoo Poaching

There are about 85 parrot species in Indonesia, 14 of them are classified as globally threatened. One of the regions with many parrot species is Wallacea which includes Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, and the Maluku Islands. 4 endangered species in Wallacea are the red-and-blue Lory (Eos histrio), yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea), blue-napped Parrot (Tanygnathus lucioinensis), and black-winged Lory (Eos cyanogenia).

Lory and Cockatoo Poaching

In 2002, ProFauna Indonesia (www.profauna.org ) in collaboration with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals RSPCA launched a report called "FLYING WITHOUT WINGS" that publicised the facts that in 2001 there were approximately 15,000 parrots caught in North Maluku in a year. The report launch was followed by series of campaign conducted by ProFauna Indonesia supported by a local organization named Yayasan KAMU. As a result, the parrot trade in Ternate has fallen by 95%.

After 5 years of "FLYING WITHOUT WINGS" launch, in 2007 ProFauna conducted an investigation on parrot trafficking in Sulawesi and North Halmahera. It revealed the evidence on the smuggling of wild caught parrots from Indonesia to the Philippines which report called "PIRATED PARROTS" was launched in May 2008.

"PIRATED PARROTS" reports that about 10,000 parrots are caught from the wild in North Halmahera, Maluku and smuggled to both domestic trade and the Philippines. The parrots poached in North Halmahera are; white Cockatoos (Cacatua alba), chattering Lorys (Lorius garrulous), Eclectus parrots (Eclectus roratus) and the violet-necked Lorys (Eos squamata). The Eclectus parrot is a protected species which is prohibited for trade.

The red-and-blue Lorys (Eos histrio), endangered species, are also being smuggled. Fortunately, the red-and-blue Lory poaching and trade have decreased drastically due to active confiscation operations conducted by the forestry department rangers in 2005. The local authority’s regulation in the villages in Karakelang Island, an island in Talaud Islands group, bordering Indonesia and Philippines, prohibits the poaching of red-and-blue Lory. Thus helps reduce the trade.

40% Death Rate

Most of the Indonesian parrots come from Halmahera Island, North of Maluku. 40% of them are smuggled to the Philippines from the port in Pelita Village, Galela District in northern Halmahera. An illegal wildlife dealer named Mei Lumombo operates from there. He smuggles the birds to Balut Island or to General Santos, in the Philippines, using a private boat.

The sea journey alone to smuggle parrots from Halmahera, Indonesia to General Santos, in the Philippines takes 9 hours. The journey from the forest to villages and to the port also takes a long time. Most boats carrying the smuggled Indonesian parrots do not dock at the General Santos port to unload. The transactions are done offshore or in the sea, where the Philippines dealers collect the parrots from the Indonesian ships. Upon arrival at General Santos, the birds are sent to Cartimar market, in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

The parrot’s death rate is as high as 40 % by the time they arrive at the sales points. For every 1000 parrots caught from the wild, 400 birds died in vain, during the poaching, transportation and trade, due to poor conditions and cruel handling.

Lack of Law Enforcement

The parrot smuggling to the Philippines breaks the CITES (Convention of International on Trade in Endangered Species) agreements, ratified by Indonesia in 1978. Most parrots are listed in Appendix II. Parrots in CITES Appendix II are prohibited from international commercial trade unless they are captive bred or permitted by the exporting country. In Indonesia the bird trade is controlled by the catch quota. Parrots in the trade are not captive bred.

From the interviews with some animal traders in Cartimar market in Manila, the Philippines, ProFauna uncovered that some of the birds smuggled from Indonesia were intended for export to other countries and to be labelled as captive-bred. It is therefore necessary for the Philippines authority to control and check the parrot breeding centre and the source of parrots for export.

The illegal trade of protected parrots violates the Indonesian legislation of the 1990 (a wildlife law concerning Natural Resources and the Ecosystems Conservations). Accordingly, the perpetrators are liable to a maximum five-year prison term and a maximum 100 million Rupiah fine. Unfortunately, the Indonesian governments has not enforced the law because many protected parrot are still being smuggled abroad and sold openly in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia.

At least once in every two weeks there is a freight vessel that dock at Surabaya sea port, transporting illegal parrots. There are about 30 birds of various species being smuggled to Surabaya per shipment. From the data collected by ProFauna about animal markets in Java and Bali, the domestic trade in parrots is still at a high level. The most wanted species is the black-capped Lory (Lorius lory), the second is the sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) and the third is the Eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus).

Tri Prayudhi, ProFauna’s Campaign Officer stated, " The Navy of Indonesian Armed Force (TNI) and the Indonesian Marine Police must improve the patrol of marine boundaries between Indonesia and the Philippines seas and the route used for wildlife smuggling from Indonesia to Philippines". ProFauna strongly recommends that both Indonesian and the Philippines governments implement and enforce their wildlife laws.

In addition to the necessity of law enforcement to stop the illegal parrot trade, ProFauna urges the Indonesian government to raise the status of white Cockatoo (Cacatua alba), endemic species of Northern Maluku as Indonesian protected species.

What you can help?

You can help us stop Indonesian parrots poaching and trade by sending letters to the addresses below and signing our petition. Show your deep concern to parrots trade as reported in ProFauna’s PIRATED PARROTS. Based on the findings outlined the letter, we humbly but urgently request that you:

  • Demand the Republic of Indonesia government to stop parrots smuggling to the Philippines by conducting confiscation operation in North Halmahera dealers and improve the patrol of marine boundaries between Indonesia and the Philippines and the route used for wildlife smuggling from Indonesia to the Philippines.
  • Urge the Forestry Ministry of Republic of Indonesia to control, investigate, and seize protected wildlife, especially parrots, from traders in the animal markets in Surabaya and Pramuka market in Jakarta.
  • Recommend the Forestry Minister to raise the protection status of White Cockatoo (Cacatua alba) many of the species are caught for trade and the mortality rate in parrot trade is very high. Nevertheless, white cockatoo is not protected.

Send your letter to the following addresses:

MS Kaban, Menteri Kehutanan Republik Indonesia Gedung Manggala Wanabhakti Blok I, lantai 4 Jl. Gatot Subroto, Jakarta Pusat 10270. Phone 021-5731820, Fax 021-5700226 e-mail: indofor@dephut.go.id, dirjen.pka@dephut.go.id, cites@dephut.go.id

Jendral Polisi Soetanto, Kepala Polisi Republik Indonesia MABES POLRI Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3 Kebayoran Baru Jakarta Selatan. Phone 021-7390306, 3848537 e-mail: info@polri.go.id

ProFauna Indonesia Jl Raya Candi II no 179 Klaseman, Malang-Indonesia Phone 0341-570033, Fax 0341-569506 Email tri@profauna.org

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