Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Thousands of Parrots smuggled in Indonesia

28 May 2008

Categories: Homepage News

Parrots get trapped by glue on branches

Parrots are then restrained for transport using plastic water bottles

The birds are then taken to market in Manila

In their latest report entitled ‘Pirated Parrots’, the Indonesian wildlife conservation NGO ProFauna Indonesia, which Born Free has supported for several years, revealed the evidence on the smuggling of wild caught parrots in Sulawesi and North Halmahera in Indonesia to Philippines during their investigation.

The already dwindling population of Indonesian parrots due to deforestation is further threatened by poaching.  About 10,000 parrots (Lories and Cockatoos) are caught from the wild in North Halmahera, Indonesia, each year to supply the domestic and the international illegal wildlife trade.

The catch quota of white cockatoos (Cacatua alba) for 2007, issued by the General Director of PHKA, of the Indonesian Forestry Department, is 10 pairs and only for breeding purposes.  However, the investigation revealed that at least 200 white Cockatoos were caught from the wild in North Halmahera in 2007, which far exceeded the quota.

The sea journey alone to smuggle parrots from Halmahera, Indonesia to General Santos 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 General Santos port to unload. The transactions are done offshore or at 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. 

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.

The investigation, which was supported by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and conducted in 2007, uncovered the parrot smuggling network from Indonesia to the Philippines. The parrots poached in North Halmahera are; white Cockatoos (Cacatua alba), chattering Lorys (Lorius garrulus), Eclectus parrots (Eclectus roratus) and the violet-necked Lorys (Eos squamata). The Eclectus parrot is a protected species which is prohibited for trade.

To read the full report please click here

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