Today, 15th July 2002, Burung Indonesia, an association for the conservation of wild birds and their habitats, was established and affiliated with Birdlife International. Since its establishment, it has always been active in various conservation and advocacy actions at the local and national levels.
In Sumba Island, Burung Indonesia managed to become the first facilitator of participatory national park boundary demarcation in Indonesia. A series of contribution was also achieved, including the success of stopping the poaching of Citron-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata), a subspecies of Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea).
Yellow-crested Cockatoo is one of priority species in Burung Indonesia’s conservation efforts. The conservation of Citron-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata) was initiated by public awareness since 1997 and is still running to date.
Compared to other subspecies of Yellow-crested Cockatoo, the singularity of Citron-crested Cockatoo is distinguished by its citron-coloured crest, the reason locals call the bird by.
Aside from being hunted—the bird was the most poached species before the 2000’s—its population and habitat is mainly threatened by forest conversion to plantation.
Male Citron-crested Cockatoo on a gabion cage (Photo: Burung Indonesia/Benny Aladin)
Through efforts to raise awareness among community groups, the education system, and policy makers at the local level, people's perceptions have gradually changed. In 2002, for the first time, the Citron-crested Cockatoo poachers were criminally prosecuted. Two years later, Burung Indonesia succeeded in pushing for regulations regarding the prohibition of trade in parrots at the local policy level in Sumba.
The case seemed to be able to provide a deterrent effect on the perpetrators and prevent the public from committing the same crimes. Due to increasing public knowledge about the singularity and environmental services provided by the Sumba cockatoo, and driven by legal awareness that has grown over time, the poaching of this species has ceased since 2006.
Aside from raising awareness, to date, Burung Indonesia is still intensively monitoring the population and breeding ecology of Citron-crested Cockatoo. Just like other subspecies, the Citron-crested Cockatoo nests on tall tree cavities, thus the availability of trees would inhibit its breeding.
In Sumba Island, the oldest and first location where Burung Indonesia has been generating impacts, the conservation efforts go beyond conserving the endemic cockatoo birds. With the contribution of Burung Indonesia, two protected areas were encouraged to be established, namely Manupeu Tanadaru National Park and Laiwangi Wanggameti National Park, both important habitats for Citron-crested Cockatoos and other biodiversity.
The publication of this article is part of a series of publications celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Burung Indonesia. On every 15th of every month in 2017, we will publish various articles about the best achievements that Burung Indonesia has achieved during 15 years of working at the home for 1769 bird species: Indonesia.,769 jenis burung ini.