Wildlife Trafficking in 2014: a Grim Reflection

elang yang dijual secara onlineThe state of wildlife crime (including trafficking, poaching, and illegal ownership) in Indonesia during 2014 still did not show any indication of decline. According to a record of Protection of Forest & Fauna (PROFAUNA) Indonesia, there were at least 78 filed cases of wildlife crime in 2014. The number only shows the uncovered criminal acts published in mass media or investigated by PROFAUNA's team.

During the past year, PROFAUNA also received 192 complaints and reports from the general public related to wildlife crime. Most of the reported cases were about online wildlife trafficking, or photos uploaded on Facebook showing people with their poaching activities.

The number of online wildlife trafficking, especially of protected species, is getting more widespread to all age range, including the youngsters. In 2014 only, there were no less that 3640 advertisements offering many kinds of wildlife species. Among the most-traded species on the web are the Javan Hawk-eagle, Siamang gibbon, Surili, Javan Langur, Palm Cockatoo, Black-capped Lory, Slow Loris, and Eclectus Parrot. 

 "The raging practice of online wildlife trade has become a serious threat for wildlife conservation, because most of the traded animals were captured from the wild, not from captive breeding as claimed by many dealers," said Swasti Prawidya Mukti, PROFAUNA Indonesia's campaign officer.

All the trafficked wildlife were stolen from their natural habitat not merely to meet domestic demand, but also to be smuggled overseas. Citizens of several countries like Hong Kong, Kuwait, China, Taiwan, and France, had been arrested for attempting to smuggle Indonesian wildlife.

 "Wildlife crime has become a transnational business. Threfore, governments should take this more seriously as such act has is clearly violating our national law. The subjects are liable to a 5 years of prison," she added.

Among the uncovered cases of wildlife crime during July-December 2014 are below:

  • 23 August: a citizen of China was arrested in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta for carrying 28 beaks Helmeted Hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil). These beaks worth IDR 2 million per 100 grams.
  • 15 September: 44 wildlife were found by the police of Bitung Timur, North Sulawesi, on a ferry coming from Papua. It was suspected that these animals were boarded out by military personnels of Gorontalo.
  • 25 September: 2 Yello-crested Cockatoos and 3 Black-capped Lories were confiscated from dealers in Karimata bird market, Semarang, Central Java
  • 27 October: police confiscated Sumatran Tiger skin and head in Serang, West Java
  • 28 October: officers seized 53 Black-capped Lories, 4 Yellow-crested Cockatoos, 1 Eclectus Parrot, 3 Cassowaries, and some deer tusks from a ferry in Bitung, North Sulawesi
  • 1 November: officers confiscated 300 kg of Pangolin scales in Lampung. The scales came from Medan, and were transported to Banten by bus
  • 3 November: officers seized 13 eagles in Lampung, from a public bus coming from Palembang to Bandung, West Java
  • 5 November: officers confiscated 4 carved elephant tusks from a dealer in Lampung
  • 18 November: officcers seized 51 Green Sea Turtles which were going to be smuggled to Bali
  • 28 November: a smuggling attempt of 10 parrots by 2 citizens of Taiwan was intercepted by officers at Juanda International Airport, East Java. The Taiwanese smugglers, Huang Min Chum and Lee Tsung Lin planned to bring the parrots to the cabin of Eva Air BR 321.
  • 2 December: 10 Eclectus Parrots were rescued from a smuggling attempt by a citizen of Taiwan at Juanda International Airport, East Java
  • 10 December: 7 Salmon-crested Cockatoo were confiscated by officers at pattimura Airport, Ambon, Maluku

For the previous article about wildlife crime in Indonesia during January-June 2014, please visit: http://www.profauna.net/en/content/profaunas-note-indonesian-wildlife-crime-first-half-2014

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