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Dozens of endangered cockatoos found crammed into plastic bottles

Latest Update: May 6, 2015 | 160 Views
cockatoos

At least 24 cockatoos have been discovered stuffed into 1,500 ml plastic water bottles at an Indonesian port during an anti-smuggling operation.

The cockatoos, which are described as critically endangered, were cut free of their plastic confines by Indonesian customs officials at Tanjung Perak port in Surabaya, Indonesia, who spotted the consignment of illegally-trafficked birds.

One man, who it is understood brought in the birds from Makassar, Sulawesi, was arrested.

An official from Indonesia’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), told that police turned over 22 live birds to the organization, and that from his initial inspection the animals were two species of cockatoo.

The bird is one that is “very heavily impacted” by illegal trade, he said. While the species is endemic to Indonesia, it’s disappeared from much of its range and now the only substantial population is found on the island of Komodo, with smaller populations on some other islands.

Yellow-crested cockatoos, which were among the birds seized, were classed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in 2007.

The species, Cacatua sulphurea, has “suffered (and may continue to suffer) an extremely rapid population decline, owing to unsustainable trapping for the cagebird trade,” according to Bird Life, an online reference for ornithologists. It is thought that their population in the wild numbers around 7,000 and is in danger of further deescalation.