Three Parrot Rescue Operations in 7 Months, Giant Steps for PBW

Three Parrot Rescue Operations in 7 Months, Giant Steps for PBW

May 6, 2005

Notes from the Field: Issue 7

By Stewart Metz

Confiscated Moluccans and Eclectus

The members of PBW are very excited that our program to rescue and rehabilitate wild Indonesian cockatoos and parrots which have been seized from smugglers, has already taken three giant steps forward.

First, in September of last year, National Park officers and police on Seram Island, Indonesia ( acting on a tip from a colleague of Project Bird Watch) arrested a smuggler named Andi Samsudin and confi scated nine Moluccan cockatoos (Cacatua moluccensis), two Eclectus parrots (Eclectus roratus roratus), and five Red-cheeked Parrots (Geoffroyus geoffroyi rhodops). Samsudin was arrested, tried and eventually sentenced to a little over two months in jail. Unfortunately, the National Park officials had neither the experience nor the facilities to care for parrots and a number of the confiscated parrots did not survive. It was this fact which has motivated PBW to move forward as fast as possible with the development of our own permanent Rehabilitation Center on Seram. The surviving birds (including five of the cockatoos, two Red-cheeked parrots and two Eclectus and, in addition, two Southern cassowaries) were moved to our temporary Rehabilitation Center outside Masihulan Village, called Kembali Bebas (“Return to Freedom”)


Rescue and Rehabilitation center on Seram: Kembali Bebas

In February of this year, officers of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources came upon an illegal shipment of Rainbow lorikeets and Red lories in the harbor of Ambon, an island just to the SW of Seram. During the confrontation, the ship owner who had the lories became angry and kicked three of the cages. One cage opened and all those birds escaped. Since the lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) is not a protected species in Indonesia, the remaining lorikeets were confi scated from the captain and immediately released by the Officers.

Of the 25 Red lories, 11 died from stress; however, 14 are now doing excellent and being rehabilitated at Kembali Bebas in preparation for probable release. Lastly, on March 17 of this year, a number of birds located at the Ambon facilities of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resource (BKSDA) were noted to be doing poorly since they, like the Department of Forestry on Seram Island, currently lack the experience and resources to properly manage confiscated psittacines. PBW intervened and steps were taken to move birds from BKSDA to Kembali Bebas. These included one Seram cockatoo; two Triton cockatoos (C. galerita triton); one Citron cockatoo (C. sulphurea citronocristata); one Eclectus; one Victoria Crowned Pigeon Goura victoria; one dusky scrubfowl (Megapodius freycinet) and one Chattering lory (Lorius garrulus). There is also one Purple-naped lory (Lorius domicella), a highly endangered bird endemic only to Seram, being watched over in a special cage . All of these birds will undergo quarantine, rehabilitation, medical testing, and behavioral observation. If all goes well, they will be returned back to the regions of Indonesia to which they are endemic, and will be released back into the wild.


You too can help. Project Bird Watch is developing a program so that individuals can sponsor and help us care for these needy birds at Kembali Bebas. Contact Bonnie Zimmermann (707) 965-3480 or for more information. Rescue and Rehabilitation center on Seram: Kembali Bebas

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