The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) has repatriated from the Philippines as many as 73 wild birds, including yellow-crested cockatoos, black palm cockatoos, Moluccan cockatoos, and black-capped lories.
“Indonesian wild animals are national assets, so it is the obligation of all stakeholders to prevent the smuggling of such animals abroad and preserve them in their natural habitat,” said Indra Exploitasia, an expert staff member of KLHK, in a statement on Sunday, October 15, 2023.
The 73 wild birds were handed over from the Philippines’ Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) to KLHK in the presence of Indonesia’s Deputy Chief of Mission in Manila, Dodo Sudradjat, in Quezon City.
Exploitasia said that the repatriation of wild birds to Indonesia resulted from confiscation by the Philippine Operations Group on Ivory and Illegal Wildlife Trade (POGI) in Pasay City, the Philippines, on March 12, 2018.
“The 73 birds will be sent to the Tasikoki Animal Rescue Center in North Sulawesi for rehabilitation before being released into their natural habitat,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dodo Sudradjat said that all the birds were at the Quezon City Wildlife Park while waiting for the repatriation process.
The repatriation took long time since the court decision was issued in the Philippines in July 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
“The efforts made by the Philippine authorities to ensure the health and safety of birds for five years should be appreciated,” Sudradjat said.
Smuggling birds from Indonesia, especially those from Papua, Sulawesi, and Maluku, is a transnational crime as most parrots, including cockatoos, are protected species in the country.