October 26, 2009 (Newswire.com) - The illegal wildlife trade in bird markets in Java Island, Indonesia, is still high. From the latest survey conducted by ProFauna Indonesia with support by the World Animal Net (WAN) in 70 bird markets in the most developed and dense island in the country from May to July 2009. ProFauna recorded that there were 183 animals of 25 species traded openly in the markets. Some of them were lorius lory (Nycticebus coucang), Javan langur (Trachypithecus auratus), tarsius (Tarsius bancanus), black-capped Lory (Lorius lory), Moluccan cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis), black eagle (Ictinaetus malayensis), and hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros).
From the 70 visited bird markets or locations, 14 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).
The province which bird markets sold protected wildlife the most was East Java, while the city that sold and displayed protected species the most was Depok bird market in Solo, Central Java; and Ambarawa was on the second place. In discreet manners, the bird markets that sold many protected species were ones in Surabaya, Semarang, and Jakarta. The traders in those markets sold the animals secretly. They kept the illegal wildlife in their warehouses and private houses.
The location that traded parrot the most was in Semarang. Pramuka market in Jakarta and Mantingan Market in Ngawi, East Java, sold primates the most. Pramuka market is also the location that sold mammals the most. In Jatinegara market, Jakarta, raptors were sold to the most. For the protected birds (non parrot), Surabaya was the city that sold the birds the most.
The price of the animals being traded in bird markets in Java varies depending on the animal ages, species, protection status, stock, and potential buyer. For mammal, primate, and song bird species, the younger the birds are, the more expensive the price.
The small primate, tarsius, cost around 500,000 IDR (50 USD). Javan langur was around 200,000 IDR (20 USD). A lorius lory could fetch from 75,000 IDR (7,5 USD) to 250,000 IDR (25 USD). Parrots were relatively more expensive, around 750,000 IDR (75 USD) to 1 million IDR (100 USD).
One of the major reasons of the high level trade of protected wildlife in the bird markets is the lack of law enforcement. Tri Prayudhi, ProFauna's Campaign Officer, stated, "The government should enforce the law on the trade not only because it is illegal but also threats the animals' survival in the wild". According to the 1990 No.5 Indonesian concerning the Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystems, the traders violate this act and are liable to five-year prison term and 100 million IDR (10,000 USD) fine.
These findings by ProFauna on the trade of the protected species in the bird markets should 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. Otherwise, more species endemic to Indonesia are threatened by extinction.