Indonesian Parrot Project

Indonesia has some of the most spectacular birds in the world, including cockatoos, other parrots, and Birds of Paradise. However, habitat destruction and illegal trapping for the pet bird trade have decimated their numbers. Many are on the brink of extinction.

Local peoples must resort to trapping and selling these birds just to feed their families. Yet during capture and smuggling, many of these bird suffer horrid conditions and many die in transit. Even when they reach their destinations in homes, both these wild-caught birds – and even hand-raised birds derived from wild-bird stock – often are abandoned or abused (wittingly or unwittingly). That is because they are not domesticated animals like dogs or cats, and many of their needs cannot, or are not, provided for in captivity. Furthermore, these creatures are extremely long-lived, intelligent, and sentient, and have extensive need for social interaction and intellectual / environmental stimulation.

The Documentary

The Indonesian Parrot Project (IPP) has been conducting important conservation work to save parrots and cockatoos from extinction in Indonesia. The film shows the history and current work of IPP, the challenges of parrot conservation in Indonesia, and the importance of protecting parrots as flagship species. We zig-zag around the Indonesian archipelago following local researchers to show their work in action. We travel to the remote island of Masakambing to see the collaboration with local people looking after the last remaining population of the Abbotti cockatoo, to the Moluccas to observe the parrot rehabilitation and release center of IPP, and to the Komodo island to reveal how the famous dragons contribute to the conservation of a critically endangered cockatoo species. In the documentary we examine all aspects of parrot conservation including the roles and responsibilities of conservationists, decision makers, local communities and eco-tourists, demonstrating that success can be achieved only by well-organized cooperation among them.



Our mission is to help conserve Indonesian cockatoos and parrots which are endangered in the wild, through actions both in the field (in situ) as well as those ‘at home’ (ex situ). The work includes reducing the trapping, smuggling, transport, and sale of wild cockatoos with collaboration with both governmental and other non-governmental organizations, the rehabilitation of cockatoos and other psittacines confiscated by authorities from smugglers and in selected cases, release these birds back to the wild of their homeland.

In Situ Field Work

Reduce the trapping, smuggling, transport, and sale of wild cockatoos: This involves collaboration with both governmental and non-governmental organizations in order to monitor the trade and collect samples from confiscated birds for genetic and disease testing. Rehabilitate confiscated cockatoos and other psittacines confiscated by authorities from smugglers. In selected cases, release these cockatoos back to the wild of their homeland.

Scientific Studies: Carry out relevant scientific studies (such as genetic studies; census or breeding analyses; observation of nest behavior; analyses of food requirements) necessary for care of the cockatoos. These should result in published, peer-reviewed scientific data useful to help others to conserve these birds. Such studies offer avenues for collaboration with other scientists.

Ecologic Studies: Obtain needed information about the local ecology of the cockatoos and parrots which will be transmitted through publications, our newsletter and our website.

Ex Situ Work

C-A-P (Conservation Awareness Pride Program): Designed to teach children of various ages about their own cockatoos and parrots; why they are important and should be conserved; and build pride in them.

Economic Development for the local residents: Provide alternate means of sustainable income to villagers, who in turn will protect the cockatoos from trapping. These include:

Hire of forest wardens to find and follow up over time (from blinds or safe distances) the presence of active nests.

Support women’s cooperatives, which in turn will earn profit (and pride) through the local making of arts and crafts, and organic farming, and harvesting of mangrove

Hire local guides, porters and have our guests stay in the homes in the local community bringing revenue to the people and the village through our ecotourism program

Avian Resource: Serve as a general source of information concerning Indonesian cockatoos and their conservation, and related topics.