What we’ve found on the ground is that the illegal wildlife trade is converges at all levels. FLIGHT investigations have confirmed that many illegal bird traders are implicated in the illegal trade and smuggling of other wildlife. Therefore, while FLIGHT is primarily focused to saving wild birds, investigations have also supported the rescue of other species such as Forsten’s Tortoise from the illegal wildlife trade. On November 3-6, 2023, FLIGHT supports the authorities (Central Sulawesi BKSDA, South Sulawesi BKSDA, Surabaya Quarantine, South Sulawesi Quarantine) to translocate and release dozens of confiscated Forsten’s Tortoises (Indotestudo Forstenii) to their natural habitat. These animals were rescued by Karantina Surabaya assisted by FLIGHT from a smuggling attempt at Tanjung Perak Port, Surabaya on September 28. Forsten’s Tortoise is an endemic turtle to Sulawesi which since 2009 has been included in the Endangered (EN) category by IUCN and included in Appendix II by CITES. Forsten’s Tortoise does not yet have protected status in Indonesia. However, the population is decreasing, one of which is caused by hunting and illegal wildlife trade.
Dozens of birds from Sulawesi that were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade in Surabaya, East Java in recent months have been translocated and released into their natural habitat. On 16-18 November 2023, FLIGHT supported BKSDA and the Law Enforcement Agency, Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) to translocate and release 86 birds of various species to their natural habitat in South Sulawesi. The birds that returned to their habitat were the Asian Tuwur (Eudynamis Scolopaceus), Sulawesi Hornbill (Rhyticeros Cassidix), Red-Tailed Starling (Scissirostrum Dubium), and Dora Lorikeet (Trichoglossus Ornatus). Sulawesi Hornbill (Rhyticeros Cassidix) and Dora Lorikeet (Trichoglossus Ornatus) are protected by Law Number 5 year 1990. Sulawesi Hornbill (Rhyticeros Cassidix) is an endemic bird of Sulawesi which is often traded illegally as a pets. This Birds are included in the IUCN red list as VU (Vurnerable) and Appendix II CITES, while the Dora Lorikeet (Trichoglossus Ornatus) is also a bird that is on the IUCN red list as a Threatened Species and protected animal in Indonesia. The perpetrators who smuggle and trade these protected animals will receive sanctions in accordance with Law No. 5 of 1990 with the threat of up to 5 years in prison.
On 2 December, FLIGHT assisted the South Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency to release 10 red knobbed hornbills into the wild. These hornbills are victims of illegal trade. They were rescued at the Tanjung Perak Seaport, Surabaya when they were about to be smuggled to East Java from Sulawesi. Officers assisted by FLIGHT staff found the hornbills trapped in small boxes hidden in the truck. The hornbills are then sent to an rescue center managed by the East Java Natural Resources Conservation Agency for treatment. After confirming that they are healthy, the hornbills are then translocated to to Sulawesi as its native area and released into the wild. The knobbed hornbill (Rhyticeros cassidix), also known as Sulawesi wrinkled hornbill, is a colourful hornbill native to Indonesia. The knobbed hornbill is the faunal symbol of South Sulawesi province. As with other hornbills, the knobbed hornbill is believed to be monogamous. Its diet consists mainly of fruits, but it will also take insects and small vertebrates. Knobbed hornbills are important seed dispersers in their habitat and influence the initial fate of seeds of several tropical forest tree species. The species is currently classified as vulnerable by the IUCN. Despite being locally very common, they are threatened by habitat destruction from logging (since they depend on large and mature trees for breeding) and to some extent by hunting.
March has just gone halfway, but within 9 days (9th-17th) of this month, there are already more than 4,000 wild birds of various species rescued from smuggling attempts. Most of these occur in Lampung, Sumatra. Starting from March 9th, Information collected by FLIGHT led to the rescue of 36 Ornate Lorikeet (Trichoglossus ornatus) from illegal wildlife trade by South Sulawesi BKSDA in Makassar. 2 days after, precisely on 11th March, the Lampung Police and Lampung Nature Conservation Agency successfully foiled a smuggling attempt of more than 2000 Bar-winged Prinias with an assist from FLIGHT. The birds were contained inside 69 plastic containers and brought using a car. It was known that these birds were planned to deliver to Lampung from Jambi. All of the birds were already released to the Wan Abdul Rachman Grand Forest Park (Tahura WAR). The third rescue also occurred in Lampung, where more than 300 wild birds were successfully thwarted by the team of Central Lampung Police, SKW III Lampung Nature Conservation Agency, and also an assist from FLIGHT on Monday, 14th March. The birds include Drongo, Tit-babblers, Common Iora, Sunbirds, White-eyes, Bar-winged Prinia, Blue-masked Leafbirds, and Pied Fantails. These birds were found inside 7 plastic containers and 1 card box. They were brought by a Pahala Kencana bus. Based on the driver’s statement, these birds came from Way Kanan Lampung and planned to be delivered to Serang, Banten, West Java. These birds were also released at the Tahura WAR Area. The latest one happened exactly 3 days […]
On Wednesday, February 2nd, a team of Lampung SKW III, Terbanggi Besar Polices, and also assist from FLIGHT successfully thwarted a smuggling attempt of 712 wild birds in Central Lampung. The birds were planned to be delivered to Bandung. They were contained inside 17 plastic containers and 1 small card box. The species of the bird are vary, some of them are Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata), White-eyes, Blue-masked Leafbirds (Chloropsis venusta), etc. These birds were brought by a bus, with Rahmat as a driver. The driver was still being questioned by the police. It was known that he’s going to send the birds to Bandung with a total price of Rp 1.700.000,- Most of the birds (696 of them), which are the one that’s not included in the Protected Species List were immediately released on the next day. They were released in Wan Abdul Rahman Grand Forest Park (TAHURA WAR) after undergoes some check-ups. Meanwhile, the protected Blue-masked Leafbirds were for now being monitored and rehabilitated at the Lampung Animal Rescue Centre of SKW III Lampung Bengkulu Nature Conservation Agency (BKSDA).