Parrot Smuggling Foiled in North Maluku, PROFAUNA Demands Better Security in the Birds’ Origin

North Maluku Water Police (NMWP) arrested four citizens of the Phillippines for a smuggling attempt of 212 endemic birds on Monday (9/5/2016).

"The smuggling attempt of 212 birds was foiled by North Maluku Water Police during their water patrol near Rangranga village, South halmahera," said the Director of NMWP, Arif Budi Winofa, in Ternate, as published by ANTARA.

Among the smuggled birds were 150 Eclectus Parrots (Eclectus roratus), 53 White Cockatoos (Cacatua alba), 3 Chattering Lories (Lorius garrulus) , and 1 Lorikeet. Some of the birds were dead upon the seizure, including 3 White Cockatoos, 1 Eclectus Parrot, and 1 Chattering Lory.

According to the Director of NMWP, the smuggling chain starts with the inconspicuous Phillippine vessel manned by four people entered the waters of North Maluku on 28 April 2016, heading towards Rangrangan village, West Gane, South Halmahera.

Later, the mates signaled their arrival to the villagers using a flashlight, also marked that they are ready to buy the birds that the villagers collected.

The Phillippines has been a major smuggling destination of birds from Sulawesi and North Maluku. In the Phillippines, the birds will be sold in local markets and also exported to other countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Middle East.

In 2007 PROFAUNA launched Pirated Parrot, a report on illegal trade of Indonesia parrots. The report unveiled the massive scale of parrot smuggling from North Maluku to the Phillippines, which involved approximately 4,000 birds each year. Among the frequently smuggled birds were the White Cockatoo (Cacatua alba), Chattering Lory (Lorius garrulus), Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus), and Violet-necked Lory (Eos squamata).

A large number of birds were smuggled out through Pelita village, North Halmahera, where they would be shipped by private boats to General Santos or Davao, the Phillippines. It was estimated that 10% of the smuggled birds were the White Cockatoo, which until now has not been granted the 'protected' status by the Indonesian government.

"The White Cockatoo is still being largely captured from their habitat. During 2012-2014, around 300-500 individuals were captured each year from their natural habitat in North Maluku to fulfill buyers' demand from Java and overseas," said Swasti Prawidya Mukti, PROFAUNA's campaign officer.

The prevalent smuggling attempts of parrots from North Maluku to the Phillippines and Java is also due to the lack of control from the authorities in their places of origin. Most of the birds came from South Halmahera, North Halmahera, and East Halmahera.

"Parrot captured from their habitats in Halmahera is still happening today, partly because the forestry authority barely have any control," added Ekawaty Ka'aba, the coordinator of PROFAUNA North Maluku.

Swasti emphasized that law enforcement on this issue is facing a big challenge from the absence of rehabilitation center in North Maluku for the rescued birds, while such facility is vital to sustain the conservation effort.

For further information, please contact:

Swasti Prawidya Mukti (campaign officer, PROFAUNA Indonesia)

Mobile: +62 8563693611, Email:


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