Maluku BKSDA Secures 13 Birds from Obi Island which are Prone to Crooked Beak Trafficking

  • Illegal trade in parrots with protected status, especially from Obi Island, North Maluku, still occurs frequently. Finally, Maluku BKSDA officers secured 13 parrots from Obi Island from a ship at Ternate port on Wednesday (13/2/2024
  • The birds that were seized were 12 ternate parrots and one green parrot parrot each and are currently being placed in rehabilitation cages at the SKW 1 Ternate BKSDA Maluku office before being released back into the wild.
  • Previously, Sula Islands Sanana Quarantine officers secured the smuggling of 26 parrots on the Aqua Star Motor Boat from Obi Island, South Halmahera, North Maluku
  • The results of joint research by researchers from Oxford University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Indonesia in 2014, found that there was massive exploitation of parrots, especially musk parrots on Obi Island.

The capture and sale of wild animals in the form of protected birds still occurs in North Maluku. Throughout 2023, 35 types of parrots were seized by Maluku Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) officers, either through patrols or voluntarily handed over by residents. The birds were released in November 2023 on Obi Island.

Previously, on October 21 2023, the Plant and Animal Quarantine Office in the Sanana working area secured 26 parrots and handed them over to the BKSDA and they have been released back into the wild in Obi.

Meanwhile, at the beginning of 2024, namely on Wednesday (13/2/2024), 13 birds were again secured by Regional Conservation Section (SKW) 1 Ternate BKSDA Maluku officers. These birds are thought to have been brought from Obi Island, South Halmahera Regency by ship to Ternate, North Maluku.

"When we arrived at Bastiong Port in Ternate, the officers immediately picked us up at the port. "This is because previously there was a report received from officers in Bacan, that someone brought dozens of birds to Ternate on a passenger ship," explained Head of SKW 1 Ternate BKSDA Maluku, Abas Hurasan, Friday (16/2/2024). This bird was found on the passenger ship KM Sumber Raya 04 which was sailing on the Obi-Kupal Island (Bacan) route to Ternate.

The birds that were seized were 12 ternate parrots and one green parrot. The birds are currently placed in rehabilitation cages at the SKW 1 Ternate BKSDA Maluku office.

When secured on the ship, the birds were placed in different locations on the ship. Officers boarded the ship then gathered at one point.

When coordinated with the ship's officers regarding the owners of the birds, they argued that they did not know the owners. "Because they were placed separately on the ship, we finally collected them and coordinated to confirm their owners. "Unfortunately the ship's officers admitted that they didn't know the owner," said Naomi, one of the SKW 1 Ternate BKSDA Maluku officers when met at the bird rehabilitation cage in her office, Friday (16/2/2024).

He said that BKSDA officers had waited to confirm who had picked up the birds on the boat. But no one came to take the bird.

Because no one claimed to be the owner, the birds were finally transported using a patrol car to the SKW 1 Ternate office.

"(The confiscated bird) was secured by officers and put into a rehabilitation cage for further rehabilitation," he explained.

The birds were placed in two separate cages. A total of 12 ternate parrots were put in one large cage. Meanwhile, a green parrot was placed in a cage with an existing alba cockatoo.

"The veterinarian is in Ambon, so to ensure the bird's health we observe and report it, including taking photos and conveying its condition. "Because they are healthy, in a month at most they can be returned to nature," explained Naomi.

As is known, the Obi Island area is a target area for catching and smuggling parrots.

Apart from the discovery of the smuggling of 13 parrots from Obi Island on Wednesday (13/02/2024), five months earlier, namely on October 21 2023, there were 26 parrot parrots of the ternate musk type ( Lorius garrulous)   and 10 bayan parrots. red ( Eos boreea)   was secured by Sula Islands Sanana Quarantine officers on the Aqua Star motor ship from Obi Island,  South Halmahera   which was heading to Banggai, Central Sulawesi.

This parrot was found in a cage when officers were monitoring ship traffic. At that time, the Sanana Work Area Ternate Quarantine  said that when they were carrying out an inspection, they heard birds singing, so they checked. And it's true that 26 birds will be smuggled out of North Maluku.

Massive Exploitation on Obi Island

Regarding the catching and selling of birds on Obi Island, in 2014, researchers namely Eden W. Cotte Jones, John C Mittermeier together with Endang Cristine Purba, Nova Maulidina Ashuri and Eka Hesdianti through joint research between Oxford University, Louisiana State University and the Department of Biology , Postgraduate Program, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Indonesia. They carried out an assessment of the parrot and cockatoo trade on Obi Island, North Maluku. From this study they found that there was massive exploitation of musk parrots ( Lorius garrulous ).

In their research publication published in January 2014, they stated that catching animals for the domestic and international pet trade poses a significant conservation threat to several species in North Maluku.

In the period July – August 2012, for example, they conducted interviews and field surveys examining the status of parrot trade in seven villages on Obi Island, North Maluku. From the interviews they found substantial variations in bird prices depending on the final marketing objective. Heterogeneous patterns of catch rates around the island, and catching parrots are rarely the main source of income for catchers.

In this research, it was found that the three most numerous bird species were caught annually, namely the ternate musk parrot ( Lorius garrulous ), the purple collared parrot ( Eos squamata ) and the parrot parrot ( Eclectus roratus ).

The estimated minimum annual catch time on Obi Island for the ternate muskbird, which has vulnerable species status, is higher than previous estimates for the global annual catch time of this species. Based on estimates made, the Ternate Kasturi and especially the subspecies flavopalliatus are more threatened than previously assumed.

Of the households surveyed on Obi Island, 27% (54 of 204 families kept parrots as pets. Through observations around this island, they also found 12 species of birds as pets, 8 of which were muskrats.

This research also found that the most popular pet bird is the muskrat with an average of 0.2 per household. Followed by purple-necked parrots at 0.14 per household. Parrot parrots and white cockatoos are less common pets, with an average of 0.07 and 0.01 per household, respectively.

The results of the research also found that on average 5,976 Ternate musk birds are caught every year. Parrot parrots average 810 individuals, purple collared parrots average 1,092 individuals.

"We recommend urgent action to immediately assess the population size of this species on Obi Island," the researchers wrote in a summary of the research.

Just for your information, parrots , both Ternate Kasturi and Red and Green Parrot Parrots are protected species based on the Minister of Environment and Forestry (LHK) Regulation No.P.20/ MENLHK /SETJEN/ KUM.1/6/2018 concerning Types of Plants and Animals protected animals and Law No. 5/1990 concerning Conservation of Biological Natural Resources and their Ecosystems, which states that if you intentionally catch, injure, kill, keep, own, care for, transport and trade in protected animals while they are alive, they will be threatened with imprisonment at most five years and a maximum fine of IDR 100 million.

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