Indonesia; Attempt to smuggle stuffed lesser birds-of-paradise to Papua foiled

Andi Hajramurni The Jakarta Post 17 Oct 16;

The South Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BBKSDA) confiscated 64 preserved lesser birds-of-paradise and 83 bunches of cassowary feathers during a recent operation, highlighting the rampant illegal trade of wildlife in Indonesia.

BBKSDA South Sulawesi head Dody Wahyu Karyanto said the traders were trying to send the rare animal parts via an air shipping service to Jayapura, Papua, the country’s easternmost province, which was actually the natural habitat of the two protected bird species.

The smuggling attempt was uncovered when the shipping service’s officers asked PS, a courier assigned to send the stuffed animals, which were packed in a cardboard box, to attach an animal delivery permit letter from the BBKSDA South Sulawesi, he further said.

“PS later came to our office to ask for a permit to deliver the animals to Jayapura. He brought those animal parts here. We immediately confiscated them all,” said Dody, Wednesday.

He said both lesser birds-of-paradise and cassowaries were protected species as stipulated by Law No.5/1990 on the conservation of natural resources and their ecosystem and Government Regulation No.7/1999 on plant and animal preservation.

PS told investigators that the protected birds were being sent from Papua to Maros, South Sulawesi, to be preserved before they were sent back to Papua.

“We have handed over this case to South Sulawesi Environment and Forestry Law Enforcement and Security Agency investigators,” he said.

The agency’s regional office 1 head Muhammad Amin said his institution was still investigating the case to reveal who the animal parts belonged to.

It was suspected the preserved lesser birds-of-paradise and cassowary feathers were to be used for traditional ceremonies in Papua. (ebf)

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