We thank our supporters for their support, which has enabled us to save more than 20,000 birds from the bird trade.

Since its establishment in February 2018, FLIGHT: Protecting Indonesia’s Birds has worked hard to help save Indonesia’s bird population from being traded and kept as pets in cages. Caged birds have little prospect of enjoying freedom again.

The poaching, smuggling and trading of birds are rife in Indonesia. This is a huge conservation issue. Birds play an important role in the ecosystem. They are efficient seed carriers, which allows plant regeneration. Birds also play a role in maintaining balance. The reduced populations of insectivorous birds will lead to an increase in insect populations which can become pests for farmers.

But there is another important side to this story- that of bird welfare, in its own right. Caged birds have no quality of life. Birds need more than just sustenance. They need to be able to behave as nature intended, to be free to fly in the skies.

Keeping birds as pets has become part of the culture of Indonesian people, especially Javanese people. Java’s bird markets pose a big threat to wild birds, especially Sumatran birds, due to Sumatra’s proximity to Java. Greedy hunters and poachers use a variety of tactics to poach birds, with no thought to their welfare or survival. Birds are crammed into boxes and can travel hundreds of kilometers to bird markets, with no food, water or air. Many die in the process.

FLIGHT’s research shows that more than 1 million Sumatran wild birds are stolen from the wild annually, to supply Indonesia’s bird market, especially those in Java.

In the past 1.5 years, FLIGHT has conducted investigations, created a black list of traders, and mapped the Sumatran bird trade route. FLIGHT works together with quarantine authorities to prevent bird smuggling via the Ports of Bakaheuni, Lampung and Merak, Banten. These ports connect Sumatra and Java. We have jointly rescued more than 20 thousand birds. All surviving birds have been released into the wild, after health checks.