Officials Confiscated Dozens of Parrots from Poachers in South Halmahera

Officials of Ternate Nature Conservation Agency confiscated dozens of parrots from poachers in several villages in South Halmahera, North Maluku, during a joint patrol between the agency and PROFAUNA Indonesia in early July 2017.

The patrol in Bacan Island resulted in confiscation of 4 White Cockatoos (Cacatua alba), 11 Chattering Lories (Lorius garrulus), 2 Lories (Eos sp.), and 3 Eclectus Parrots (Eclectus roratus). Aside from those birds, officials also seized 3 deer antlers from the house of La Abaru (45) in Amasing Kali village.

Other targeted villages were Bibinoi, Gandasuli, and Tuwokona, where it w

"This patrol is a follow up to PROFAUNA and the Nature Conservation Agency's initial investigation," claimed Anwar Ibrahim, one of the officials.

The parrots were all "bait birds" which are not for sale. Instead, they are used by the poachers as baits to lure and capture other parrots in the forests in Bacan.

"Typically, local poachers use gums smeared in tree branches. To attract wild parrots, they will put the bait bird near the gum-smeared branch," said Afrizal Maulana Abdi, PROFAUNA's campaign officer.

"Patrol and inspection are among our preventive act to curb parrot poaching and trade in North Maluku," added Anwar.

Resistance

During the patrol, there was resistance from local poachers, including in Amasing Kali. La Caya (40) refused to hand over his 3 Chattering Lories because the parrots are merely his son's pets. Eventually, through persuasive approach, he agreed hand over the birds to the officials and admitted that the birds were used as baits.

Different thing happened in Gandasuli village, where La Ica (47) tried to run away when he saw the patrol team. Upon being questioned, he said that he had stopped poaching parrots for years. However, the patrol team found 1 White Cockatoo, 1 Violet-necked Lory, and 3 Eclectus Parrots in his house and seized the parrots.

According to Anwar Ibrahim, La Ica is a son of La Kole, who since the 1990's has been collecting parrots from poachers in Bacan.

Poachers whose birds were confiscated by the officials were required to sign an agreement stating that they will not repeat their illegal action. Should they got caught poaching again, firm law will be applied.

Improving on Education

tim KSDA Ternate dan PROFAUNA menerima penyerahan kakatua In addition to the preventive approach, educational approach was also included in between patrol sessions to raise the local people's awareness towards the importance of parrot conservation, especially in North Maluku as the bird's natural habitat.

"Law no.41 of 1999, whoever removes, carries, and transports wildlife species is liable to a maximum 1 year of prison and IDR 50 million fines," stated Alim Mahmud, the patrol coordinator.

PROFAUNA's team in North Maluku has also been very proactive in conducting education program in villages around South Halmahera regency. The program is carried out by showing 'Burung Kita', a documentary film about parrot conservation, which is expected to be able to encourage active participation from local people in the protection efforts of North Maluku's parrots.

"So far PROFAUNA has visited 11 villages in South Halmahera for our education program, and we will continue to other villages until December this year," explained Afrizal, PROFAUNA's staff taking part in the patrol. (AFZ)

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