Activists Celebrated Indonesian Parrot Day Calling the Public to Support Conservation

PROFAUNA Indonesia staged public campaign events to raise public awareness towards parrot conservation. The event were held in front of Malang City Hall as a celebration of the Indonesian Parrot Day on Saturday (16/9).

During the campaign, PROFAUNA's activists wore parrot costumes and displayed banners containing messages to urging people to stop buying and keeping parrots as pets.

The campaign was deemed urgent because more than 95% of the traded parrots are captured from their natural habitat in North Maluku, Maluku, Sulawesi, and Papua.

"By not buying parrots, we can contribute to breaking the chain of illegal trade of Indonesian parrots. This Indonesian Parrot Day must be a stepping stone for us in our effort to raise public awareness towards the importance of parrot conservation," said Bayu Sandi, PROFAUNA Indonesia's campaign officer.

The Indonesian Parrot Day was celebrated in Malang, Ternate, Makassar, Palu, Bitung, and some other cities.

Bayu highlighted that the Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea), which is protected by law, is still being widely traded. Worse fate by all means is faced by other parrot species which have not yet been protected by law such as the White Cockatoo (Cacatua alba) and Chattering Lory (Lorius garrulus), both are endemic to North Maluku.

"PROFAUNA has been promoting protection status for the White Cockatoo and Chattering Lory since 2005, yet no action has been taken by the government to address our cause despite the rapidly declining population of both species due to poaching and trade," added Ekawati Ka'aba, PROFAUNAs activist from North Maluku.

PROFAUNA's monitoring data in the past two years shows that the poaching and trade rate of parrot is constantly high, particularly  in North Maluku.

PROFAUNA's latest investigation in November 2016-January 2017 revealed that there is still a considerable number of active poachers in South Halmahera, North Maluku. During that period, approximately 3,000 parrots (White Cockatoo, Chattering Lory, and Eclectus Parrot) were captured from their natural habitat.

This problem is mainly caused by the high demand from collectors, mostly to be sold to buyers in Java and the Philippines. The birds' price could skyrocket upon their arrival in Java. One White Cockatoo is worth IDR 3,5 million, while Chattering Lory is worth IDR 2 millions.

These facts are dismal considering that many of Indonesian parrots cannot be found anywhere else in the world. There are 89 parrot species in Indonesia, 14 of which are protected by law. 

Law no.5 of 1990 concerning the Conservation of Living Natural Resource and Its Ecosystem and Government Regulation no.7 of 1999 concerning the Preservation Wildlife Species states that anyone is forbidden to capture, trade, and keep protected wildlife species.

"Celebrations of the Indonesian Parrot Day is expected to be able to raise public awareness to participate in parrot conservation effort, by a very simple step which is not buying traded parrots," explained Munatsir, spokesperson for PROFAUNA Makassar.

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ProFauna Indonesia is an Indonesian society for the protection of
wild animals and their habitats