Officials Confiscated Dozens of Wild Animals and Four Antlers in South Halmahera

Officials of Ternate Nature Conservation Agency went on another round of patrol to monitor wildlife trade in South Halmahera in early August 2017. The patrol covered several locations in Bacan Island with aid from PROFAUNA Indonesia.

During the patrol, the deployed team consisting of a number of rangers and PROFAUNA's activists found six Chattering Lories (Lorius garrulus), two White Cockatoos (Cacatua alba), two male Eclectus Parrots (Eclectus roratus), two juvenile Black-crested Macaques (Macaca nigra), one Papuan Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), and four deer antlers.

In addition, the team also found one Chattering Lory and one Yellow-crested Cockatoo in KMP Lompa vessel at Kupal seaport. Concerning this finding, the Head of Ternate Nature Conservation Agency, Lilian Komaling S.Hut, claimed that the agency will have further coordination with Indonesia Ferry in Ternate.

Locations covered during the patrol were Sayoang, Marabose, Gandasuli, Labuha, Amasing Kali, Panamboang, Tuwokona, and seaports at Kupal and Babang

Despite being the Nature Conservation Agency's main function, patrols also act as preventive effort to control wildlife trade in South Halmahera. Based on PROFAUNA's latest report, "Flying without Wings 3", South Halmahera is among the main origins of traded parrots coming from North Maluku. At least 3,000 parrots are estimated to be captured from their habitat every year.

"This is one of our mutual concerns, to protect parrots in North Maluku. If we do not do anything, then who will? Animals cannot talk, so we have to speak out for them," said Ekawati Ka'aba, the Coordinator of PROFAUNA North Maluku.

Ekawati added that the patrol is a part of PROFAUNA's program to raise public's awareness that parrots belong in the forest, not in our homes.

Resistance from Parrot Owners

During the patrol on 8-10 August 2017, the team encountered some obstructions including parrot owners who stepped out of line when the patrol team tried to seize their illegal pets.

A man in Marabose village fled his pet shop with a Lory (Lorius sp) just before the team arrived. Officials had taken persuasive approach in advance, but this particular man has not been cooperative.

Such resistance also took place in Babang village, Bacan Timur district where a Purple-naped Lory was forcefully taken back by its owner when the patrol car stopped at a gas station. The patrol team members tried to elucidate the case, but the man insisted on taking his parrot back.

"In that situation, we cannot push people too hard. We are going to take another approach to them," said Arga Christyan, Head of South Halmahera resort.

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