The Illegal wildlife trade and smuggling of protected wildlife is widespread in Indonesia and it has become an enormous threat to the survival of a huge number of wildlife species.
More than 95% of the traded animals are caught from the wild instead of captive-bred with the result that 183 mammal, 115 bird, 27 reptile, and 111 fish species are threatened in Indonesia (IUCN, 2008).
ProFauna, one of Indonesia's leading wildlife protection organizations, approached World Animal Net with a proposal to conduct a survey that would provide ProFauna with the necessary data to pressure law enforcement agencies to enforce existing laws and the government to enact better policies to curb the illegal trade of wild animals in Indonesia.
The hub of wildlife trade takes place in the "bird" markets on Java. One of the major reasons of the high level of trade of protected wildlife at the "bird" markets is the lack of law enforcement. Almost every big city on Java has a" bird" market where illegal trade of wildlife is conducted. These "bird" markets not only sell birds but all sorts of wildlife and domestic animals. ProFauna collected data on species, numbers of trade animals, numbers of shops/vendors as well as the origin of the traded animals.
Through the support of World Animal Net, ProFauna was able to conduct this research in 70 "bird" markets on Java. ProFauna recorded that there were 183 animals of 25 species traded openly in the markets. 14 of the 70 markets sold parrots, 21 markets sold primates, 11 markets sold mammals, 13 markets sold raptors, and 11 markets sold protected song birds (non parrot). The protected songbirds included black-winged starling (Sturnus melanopterus) and olive-backed sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis).
These important findings by ProFauna on the trade of the protected species at the "bird" markets are currently being used to encourage the government to curb the trade. Law enforcement has been proven to be effective in tackling the illegal trade in some regions in Indonesia and this data will help in pressuring them to act.
Read the full report and list of species.
More on the illegal wildlife trade in Indonesia.