Conservation-Awareness-Pride (CAP) Program Already Showing Progress

Conservation-Awareness-Pride (CAP) Program Already Showing Progress

Dec 6, 2007

Notes from the Field

by Stewart Metz, MD, Director

The members of the Indonesian Parrot Project are keenly aware that working to prevent trapping and smuggling, or even returning confiscated parrots to the rainforest, is only a “band-aid” for the factors which are fundamental to the continuation of the illegal wild bird trade in Indonesia. In additional to the poverty which forces villagers to trap birds, these critical factors include lack of pride in the unique and extraordinary birdlife in Indonesia; ignorance of the concepts of the non-sustainability trapping, and of extinction; a lack of familiarity with the principles of conservation; and a paucity of humane concern for the intelligence and sentience of parrots. To begin to deal with these issues, we initiated the Conservation- Awareness-Pride (CAP) Program.

Our reasoning is that we should attempt to reach the ‘next’ generation (the schoolchildren), both where the birds are actually trapped (the Moluccas and later, West Papua) as well as the places where they are most often shipped for sale (for example, Jakarta, site of the some of the most infamous Bird Markets). We are extremely fortunate to have superb colleagues to manage these programs. In Jakarta and surrounding suburbs, these are Dudi Nandika and Dwi Agustina, who also are co-founders of Konservasi Kakatua Indonesia [Cockatoo Conservation, Indonesia], our Indonesian non-governmental entity.

In the Moluccas (specifically, Seram and Ambon Islands in Central Maluku Province), these are Leonardo Sahubarua and Hendrik Maruanaya. The program involves both teaching (using DVDs and slideshows developed by IPP and modified by them), as well as enjoyable games and activities centered around parrots. In Maluku, Hendik and his colleagues developed a play called “Parrot Village”, in which the actors play individual parrots, cockatoos and lories.

The initial results of the CAP Program are in, and while in some ways they are not surprising, they are no less astonishing! Already a total of almost 4500 students (mostly from the Junior and Senior High School levels) have participated. Many have filled out questionnaires both before and again after they have participated. The most relevant results from Jakarta are provided just below; thus far, results are similar in Maluku but are still being tabulated. The results are expressed as % of respondents, both before and after the program, (with the results from Senior High School students shown below. Similar results have been seen with Junior High School students. A few of the most dramatic results follow:

  • Do you know what a parrot is? Before 14% After 91%
  • Do you know how do cockatoos, lories, and parrots differ from each other? Before 0% After 83 %
  • Do you know where parrots are found in Indonesia? Before 81% After 99%
  • Do you know that Seram cockatoos are found only in Indonesia? Before 0% After 97%
  • Have you gone birdwatching with binoculars? 0%
  • Would you like to? 98%
  • Do you know what “extinction” is? Before 12% After 94%
  • Did you know that some parrots are disappearing in Indonesia? Before 9% After 99%
  • Do you know what “conservation” is? Before 0% After 94%
  • Do parrots feel pain? Before 66% After 99%
  • Can parrots think? Before 60% After 95%
  • Is it frightening for birds to be captured? Before 0% After 93%
  • Can people provide life in a cage as good as a parrot’s life in the wild? Before 44% After 50%
  • Do you know how you can help to protect parrots? Before 22% After 96%

These findings suggest that it is possible to change attitudes in Indonesian children about parrots and trapping, while increasing both conservation awareness and pride in their spectacular birds—both in the less affluent and in the more affluent parts of Indonesia. Hopefully, over a much longer period, a “paradigm shift” will occur in the ways that the Indonesian people view and treat parrots and other wildlife.

Meet Our Volunteer Team Members

New Feature in NFTF

The Indonesian Parrot Projects runs on both the generosity of Supporters like you, and on the hard work of our Volunteer Team Members behind the scenes. IPP is an organization made of entirely of volunteers, including the Board of Directors, but often the critical work is done by others who donate their time and efforts without adequate thanks. We therefore plan to feature a “new” Volunteer Team Member in each issue of Notes from the Field.

Naomi Zemont , and her husband (and musician) David Barfield, live in Bonner Lake, Washington. She has been in charge of our Membership Program for over five years—and that is no easy task, especially when you also have a (human) family, and a Flock, of your own to look after. It is Naomi who sees to it that everyone is registered as a Member, gets their certificates and other recognition, and in general keeps the Membership Program going. Naomi. In addition, Naomi frequently attends bird shows and symposia, talking about IPP and selling items from our Store. Naomi has written a number of beautiful songs, performed by her and Dave, many of which have benefitted IPP. As if that weren’t enough, Naomi is Founder of ACHAP: Avian Community Health Awareness Project, a Federal 501c 3 organization, dedicated to improving the health and welfare of companion birds. Naomi also has taken in needy parrots as a Foster BirdMom.

We owe a big debt of gratitude to Naomi, but so also do many parrots both in the US and Indonesia. Thank you, Naomi!


Turn a Movie Into Hope for a Captured Cockatoo, Lory, or Eclectus

It’s that time of year again when, along with Holiday cheers, come all those requests for donations before the tax year ends. We too must ask your help, because it is only with your support that we can combat trapping and help smuggled psittacines in Indonesia. What we can offer to you, our Supporters, are two unusual features:

First, the assurance that 100% of your donations go to help the parrots, due to the contributions made by the Board of Directors to cover overhead expenses.

Secondly, your contributions will be used directly for life-giving aid to starving or abused parrots.

For example, let’s say that you and your significant other forgo a single night out at the movies, with its attendant popcorn. That $25 would fund an ex- trapper to look after the birds at Kembali Bebas Rehabilitation Center for a week—or two bottles of injectable vitamins for very sick birds—or micro-chips needed before we can release birds back into the wild.

Or if you want to provide a smile and a hug for a child (or a youthful adult), purchase one of our plush cockatoos!

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