The level of the illegal songbird trade in Indonesia has not shown a significant decline even though the confiscation rate has been quite high, at least in the last three years. Between January-March 2023 alone, more than 11,000 songbirds were confiscated by government authorities. But this is just a fraction of the huge number of wild songbirds traded, illegally. Weak law enforcement is one of the reasons why the illegal trade in songbirds is still rampant in Indonesia. Our forests are falling silent.
The number of illegal trade in the Sulawesi Red-Knobbed Hornbill (Aceros cassidix) in the past year is quite high. From January 2022-March 2023, 35 Sulawesi Red-Knobbed Hornbill were rescued from illegal trade. 25 of the Sulawesi Red-Knobbed Hornbill were rescued from illegal trade throughout 2022. These birds were rescued at the same location, are at the Tanjung Perak Seaport, East Java. Meanwhile, during January-March 2023, 10 Sulawesi Red-Knobbed Hornbill were rescued in 2 different locations, are in Surabaya and Jakarta. Most of the seizures of the Sulawesi Red-Knobbed Hornbill originate from information provided by FLIGHT to law enforcement. The Sulawesi Red-Knobbed Hornbill is an endemic bird from Sulawesi. This species usually lives in the forest canopy and has an ecological role as a seed disperser and helps forest regeneration processes.
The illegal wildlife trade in Indonesia is still rife. On January 2023 period, FLIGHT succeeded in supporting the police, quarantine center and BKSDA to save 1,037 wild animals, the majority of which are songbirds, from attempts to be traded illegally. These wild animals were rescued from different locations, namely on the South Lampung toll road, Bakauheni Port, Lampung, and Ketapang Port in Banyuwangi, East Java. The confiscated songbirds have been released into the wild after a health check. The songbird population in Indonesia continues to be under pressure mainly due to poaching and illegal trade. Some bird species are hard to find in the wild. In nature, birds have vital functions for ecosystems, such as dispersing plant seeds and maintaining the balance of the food chain.
Wildlife trade is one of the main conservation threats in Southeast Asia and Indonesia is known for high levels of illegal and unsustainable trade in various wildlife. During the FLIGHT period in November 2022, partners and other agencies managed to carry out 8 confiscations. The agencies and partners involved were the Surabaya Quarantine, Tanjung Perak Port Police, Pelalawan Police, BKSDA, Law Enforcement Unit of MoEF, Central Lampung Police, Bakauheni Seaport Police, Lampung Road Patrol, Military Police, and FLIGHT managed to seizure 5,208 birds during the November 2022 period. The confiscation locations were carried out in Lampung, Surabaya and Papua. Most of the birds confiscated were songbirds with a total of 2,176 birds found at Ketapang Seaport, Banyuwangi. The other bird species are the Red Knobbed hornbill, the Single Gelambir Cassowary, the Parrot Bayan, and the pitohui. The confiscated birds are then handed over to the relevant agency (BKSDA) for release.
Even though we tried our best, sadly, trade and smuggling of wild animals haven’t ceased to exist. In just 3 days, FLIGHT successfully assisted the Law Enforcement team rescued a total of 3,575 birds. A smuggling attempt occurred consecutively, starting from June 21st, when a total of 1092 wild birds consisting of 2 different species of Copsychus were seized in Lampung. The species rescued were 1080 Oriental Magpie-robins (Copsychus saularis) and 12 White-rumped Shamas (Copsychus malabaricus). Unfortunately, a total of 231 birds died in the cramped and limited space of plastic containers. The rest of the birds were immediately handed over to the SKW III Lampung Nature Conservation Agency of Bengkulu and already released at the Wan Abdul Rahman Grand Forest Park on the same day. The next day, another smuggling attempt using an intercity bus was successfully foiled. On June 22nd, FLIGHT assisted the Surabaya Agricultural Quarantine, and KSKP Ketapang to rescue more than 250 birds in Ketapang Port, Banyuwangi, East Java. The birds were brought using plastic and card boxes. The birds identified as White-eyes, Yellow-vented Bulbuls, Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatchers, Long-tailed Shrikes, etc. Unfortunately, a total of 10 birds were found dead in the container. These birds were brought back to their place and released into their natural habitat. The third catch occurred on June 23rd, as many as 2,204 wild birds were rescued from a smuggling attempt in Bakauheni, Lampung again. These birds were brought from Way Kanan, Lampung, and planned to be delivered to Balaraja, Tangerang. The 2,204 birds […]