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Collaboration on Combatting Parrots Trade in North Maluku

Parrots ready to ship confiscated by authority

Burung Indonesia has recently organized the multi-stakeholders Planning of Actions to combat parrot hunting and trade in North Maluku. The meeting was held in the city of Ternate on 19-20 April and attended by various government and non-government actors who committed to bring bird trapping and trade to an end. Three most influential government agencies in relation to this i.e. the Aketajawe Lolobata national park, the Nature Conservation Agencies of Maluku, and the Forestry and Environmental Protection and Law Enforcement Agency of Maluku Papua were all present and take part in the planned actions. Along with local universities, NGOs and law enforcers we are all concerned by the ramping up of parrot trade in the black market with more complex modus operandi, including the extensive use of social media to market the animals.

The parrots from North Maluku region, which includes the islands of Halmahera, Morotai, Bacan, Obi and some smaller islands, have long become the target for hunting and illegal trade across the country and even abroad. The three most traded birds from the region are the white cockatoo, eclectus parrot, and chattering lory. The white cockatoo (EN) and chattering lory (VU) are endemic to the region and are facing population decrease due to continuous exploitation.

Group Discussion on Collaboration and Law Enforcement

Several forest blocks under the management of Aketajawe Lolobata national park and the Nature Conservation Agencies of Maluku are home to nine parrot species present in the region, three of which are endemics. Burung Indonesia has an ongoing technical cooperation with the two government agencies to conserve the high value biodiversity through several approaches e.g. education and behavior change process, alternative livelihood development and research on the population and ecology of key species.

Among the agreed action plans are building a shared database on the records of wildlife crime and to undertake population study throughout the region. Both recommendations come under Research, Information and Site Management group of work. The relevant agencies, university and Burung will be involved in those works. Meanwhile, the Coordination and Law Enforcement group identifies the need for establishing joint task force for more effective action against wildlife trade.

Community education

Burung Indonesia’s research in 2009 reveals that White Cockatoo population has decreased sharply during the period 1992 to 2009. Although habitat destruction contitutes significant threat, hunting and illegal trade is confirmed to be the main cause of population decrease. Since then, no population study and trade investigation have ever been conducted again to cover the whole region. As such, complementary to the collaborative action, Burung is also preparing to conduct comprehensive study to update the nearly a decade old data. (AWY)