A survey of animal markets in Java and Bali has found that the illegal trade in protected birds is not only continuing unchecked, but is picking up speed.
And not only are more protected birds being traded, but there is also a greater variety of being offered, according to ProFauna Indonesia, which visited eight markets on the islands in the first two months of the year.
In February, the animal protection group found more than 62 protected birds on sale in the markets, up from 41 in January. There were 15 different species in February, from 12 in January.
The markets visited included Splendid market in Malang and Turi market in Surabaya, both in East Java, Pramuka, Jatinegara and Barito markets in Jakarta, and Satria market in Denpasar.
Pramuka, Jatinegara and Satria had the most protected birds for sale, according to ProFauna.
Protected birds such as white-bellied sea eagles, black-winged starlings, flame-fronted barbets, spotted kestrels, Bali starlings, black eagles and banded pittas were easily available in the markets, the group said.
It said a white-bellied sea eagle cost about Rp 500,000 ($55), while flame-fronted barbets and black eagles could fetch anywhere from Rp 100,000 to Rp 500,000.
The group said that it also found other protected animals being sold illegally. These included Javan langurs and slow lorises, which were among 109 primate species being traded. Javan langurs were being sold for Rp 250,000.
“The illegal wildlife trade in bird markets must be curbed,” said Rosek Nursahid, chairman of ProFauna Indonesia.
The country has laws against the trade in protected species, with offenders facing up to five years in prison and a fine of up to Rp 100 million.
However, these laws are often openly flouted, with protected species being sold out in the open at animal markets across the country with little apparent fear of arrest or prosecution by the sellers or their customers.
The Jakarta Globe
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