Who We Are
BONNIE ZIMMERMANN: Director
Project Leader – International affairs, ecotourism, public education, avian management
Bonnie founded her first parrot non-profit organization, The Wild Connection in 2001, and in 2003 joined the Board of Directors as vice president of the Indonesian Parrot Project. She has been involved with parrots and cockatoos for over twenty five years. Like many people in the avian world, she started as a “pet owner” but gradually evolved to where she is today, working to promote education, rescue, rehabilitation and enrichment for parrots in captivity and developing programs to protect and study endangered parrots in their natural environment. After joining IPP in 2003, she co-founded Kembali Bebas with Dr. Stewart Metz in 2004. Kembali Bebas is an avian rescue, rehabilitation and release center located in North Seram, Maluku which to date has released over 1200 endemic species of parrots and cockatoos successfully into the wild. All releases were done under the guidelines of IUCN and CITES. Along with her work on Seram, Bonnie also co-leads the team with Stewart Metz working to protect and conserve yellow-crested cockatoos with a focus on the Abbott’s cockatoo, of which there are only 20+ birds left in the wild on one small island in the Masalembu archipelago.
In the mid 1980s, her passion and quest for knowledge about parrots led her to work at the California Exotics Clinic in Simi Valley, California as an avian vet technician specializing in pediatrics, and she also volunteered as a vet technician at the Wildlife Waystation in Los Angeles. She has conducted and performed field work in Belize, Peru and Indonesia. She lectures at domestic and international bird clubs, conservation organizations, schools and universities, and has written articles for Notes from the Field, Bird Talk, Parrots Magazine, World Society for the Protection of Animals, Companion Bird Quarterly, American Federation of Aviculture, and the Journal for the American Society of Aviculture.
STEWART METZ, MD: Associate Director and Founder
Project Leader - Scientific Advisor, International Affairs & Grant Applications
Stewart Metz has been a physician for 32 years, having served in capacities as a clinician, biomedical researcher, administrator, and teacher. He trained at Yale University (from which he graduated summa cum laude and Scholar of the House) and Yale Medical School, and was tenured Professor of Medicine at two major universities. He was Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Head of the Diabetes Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is author or co-author of over 120 scientific publications, and uses his biomedical background to enhance both the Medical Initiative of the Seram Program, as well as the disease and laboratory testing aspects of the Wild Parrot Re-Release program. Stewart also was responsible for launching the Abbotti cockatoo project in 2007 which has successfully raised the population of this critically endangered species from a number as low as eight individuals to over twenty.
He left the medical profession in 2001 out of a deep concern about the threat of extinction of some of the planet’s most magnificent birds (especially the cockatoos of Indonesia), as well as the mistreatment of many of these creatures when sold into captivity. That concern led him to become the founder of the Indonesian Parrot Project. Stewart continues to make significant contributions to all of IPP’s projects and initiatives. He is a frequent contributor to Notes from the Field, Companion Parrot Quarterly, PsittaScene, PARROTS Magazine and LaJoie.
RICHARD THORPE, Ph.D.: Secretary
Richard Thorpe is Co-Founder and Director of the Animal Education Foundation, a Washington, DC-based organization dedicated to improving the lives of companion parrots and other animals through behavior, training, and enrichment solutions. He shares his life with two cockatoos, two cats, and his wife Kathryne, an accomplished trainer. He is active in local wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organizations, including the Wildbunch Foundation, Dogue Hollow Animal Sanctuary, and the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia. A Lifetime member of the Indonesian Parrot Project, he also supports the World Parrot Trust, Parrots International, and the World Wildlife Fund.
Also an avid history buff, he serves as Vice President of the Friends of Colvin Run Mill in Fairfax County, Virginia, and volunteers as an apprentice miller and millwright at the two-hundred-year-old grist mill. He earned his Doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and has focused his professional career on environmental restoration and nuclear waste storage.
CHARLES BERGMAN, Ph.D.
Charles Bergman has taught in the English Department a Pacific Lutheran University for several decades. He’s also a writer and photographer on natural history, conservation, and animal issues.
His work springs from a wild dedication to the earth and its creatures. His photos have won a number of awards, including the international contest of Nature’s Best Photography. His most recent book, Red Delta (about the Colorado River and its sad delta) was a PEN USA Literary Award finalist and won the Benjamin Franklin Award, the Southwest Book Award, and the Washington State Book Award. He’s written two other books on the relations between humans and non-human animals: Orion’s Legacy, about hunting, and Wild Echoes, about endangered animals in North America.
His essays and articles have appeared in many magazines, including National Geographic, Smithsonian, Natural History, Audubon, Wildlife Conservation, National and International Wildlife, the Humane Society. A cover story in Smithsonian focused on the illegal parrot trade in the Amazon Basin of South America. Another cover story in All Animals examined the pet parrot crisis here at home in the U.S. A great highlight of his life was releasing a flock of confiscated African grey parrots in Uganda—with Dr. Jane Goodall.
He’s traveled widely around the world, and has been a Fulbright Scholar twice, once in Mexico and once in Ecuador. In the process, he’s developed an irrational and deeply gratifying devotion to parrots. Parrots, because they’re so smart and they’re teaching us new ways to think about animals. Meeting Anak Berani and the other cockatoos on Masakambing, while traveling with the wonderful people of IPP, left him eager to help in the work to protect and restore these incomparable creatures. Somehow these birds—cockatoos and macaws and parrots generally—know how to get into your heart.
Growing up with animals, Hillary’s enthusiasm for behavior knew no bounds. After finding her grandparents’ collection of National Geographic magazines, she logged the daily habits of the domestic tabby cat for research practice – including a few hours of cat naps – on the family camcorder, erasing cherished family memories in the process. Neighbors might be woken up at sunrise on Saturdays for donation requests for the World Wildlife Fund or find their dogs being trained without their knowledge.
Upon graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in Biology, instead of going ahead with the plan toward veterinary school, Hillary’s passion for her childhood parrots led her toward a less conventional path to exotic animal training. Her trained cockatoos became neighborhood icons and the highlight of community events. Seeking out some of the best minds in the field from which to learn has led her to incredible opportunities, including working for Steve Martin of Natural Encounters and for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. As a behavior consultant for the animal education facility Wild Wonders in Bonsall, California, she expanded her work to include foxes, wild cats, and other exotic mammals.
Hillary is also committed to conservation, traveling with the Indonesian Parrot Project, to see the wild Moluccan Cockatoo and other rare birds in Seram, Australia to see wild black cockatoos, and the Brazilian Pantanal to observe the nesting Hyacinth Macaws. In 2010, she founded Learning Parrots, a consulting practice designed to provide resources for companion bird owners to understand and implement positive reinforcement. Hillary’s avian adventures across the planet, commitment to ethical standards of behavior management, and passion for helping others achieve results with positive reinforcement have earned her the reputation as a dynamic workshop coach and engaging speaker for a wide variety of audiences across the country.
Hillary resides on the ranch with Andre Mondin, surrounded by the birds and other creatures furred and scaly. There are very few waking moments when she is not in the immediate company of a feathered friend.
Indonesian Parrot Project Advisory Board
LARA JOSEPH – The Animal Behavior Center
Lara is the owner of The Animal Behavior Center, LLC in Ohio. She presents workshops, travels, lectures, gives regular webinars, and consults focusing on positive reinforcement interactions and modifying behavior through applications in behavior analysis. She is also the Director of Animal Training & Enrichment for a wildlife rehabilitation center where she focuses on taking stress out of animal environments. She is the founder of The Parrot Society of NW Ohio and The Parrot Society of New Orleans brining focus to parrot owners on behavior concerns, approaches in training, and the importance of enrichment.
Lara is a professional member of The Animal Behavior Management Alliance, The International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators and sits on the Advisory Board for All Species Consulting and The Indonesian Parrot Project. She is also a past board member of Nature’s Nursery, a wildlife rehabilitation center. She writes for The American Federation of Aviculture, The Pet Professional Guild, Deaf Dogs Rock, My Safe Bird Store, and more. Lara has presented for a wide variety of animal care organizations such as The Philadelphia Zoo, The Ohio State Exotic Veterinary Club, The Association of Avian Veterinarians, The International Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Conference, The Parrot Lover’s Cruise, and The Wheaton College division of Applied Behavior Analysis. For more information visit her website at TheAnimalBehaviorCenter.com.
I entered the world of loving parrots quite by accident. 14 years ago an 8-week-old Umbrella Cockatoo from a pet shop in Panama City Beach, Florida stole my heart. It was love at first sight! No, I had no clue about life with a parrot, much less an Umbrella Cockatoo. I also had no clue of the number of birds in shelters and rescues that needed a home. I just knew I needed this magnificent creature in my life!
Over the past 14 years I have learned much, yet I have so much more to learn. I have learned these magnificent beings belong in the wild, not in a cage. Were it possible I would release my sweet Ze’ Man back to his native environment, but it is too late for that now. I am so happy he is part of my life now. I will care for him until I am no longer physically able, and then there are provisions made for his continued care and life. Until that day he will remain an integral part of my life.
I will also continue to do everything in my power to help all those dear birds living less than perfect lives be it in a rescue, shelter or somewhere they are not allowed to live to their fullest.Thank you Ze’ for the world you opened up for me!
“Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.”
ADAM MILLER – Executive Director and Founder, Planet Indonesia International
From the time Adam was just a young child he has been fascinated by the world around him. He was first exposed to avian conservation issues in Indonesia when he was 10 years old. Since then he has dedicated his life to the conservation and development of this region of the world.
He graduated with honors from the department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University. Through his undergraduate career he worked on a number of research projects throughout the United States, Central America, and Australia. After graduation he was selected for the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship through the U.S. State Department to Indonesia in 2013. He has published a number of articles in collaboration with some of the top scientists in conservation biology and is dedicated to advancing the field of conservation both as a practitioner and as a researcher. His work has led him around the globe, but Indonesia has been near to his heart since the time he was just a child.
He is dedicated to finding innovative win-win solutions that benefit both humans and the environment through economic feasibility and sustainability. Without innovative multidisciplinary approaches to the issues we face today humans fall out of balance with the world around them. Adam believes Planet Indonesia is a platform for social innovation that is utilizing modern models and approaches that have the ability to restore balance and harmony to the world around us.
Ultimately, Adam is a strong activist for change in the field of conservation science, and is dedicated to creating innovative outcomes that are more feasible and applicable to multiple stakeholders.
Lisa Lawrence is a native of California, born and raised in the San Francisco bay area. She has lived with her husband, Carl on their small farm in Occidental, California for the past 28 years. She keeps horses, goats, chickens and has a pinot noir vineyard. She enjoys making cheese, soap and lotion from her goat’s milk. She is the proud mother of two grown children, Myles and Lilly. She enjoys travel and has been involved in bird and iguana rescue and funding projects for a school in Honduras for several years. Her life is never dull as she also lives with five rescue cockatoos.
KONSERVASI KAKATUA INDONESIA
Recently, the Indonesian Parrot Project has begun to place increasing emphasis on its educational activities in Indonesia, as indicated in our Awareness and Education page. A significant component of that program will be carried out in urban areas of the Western half of the Indonesian archipelago, such as Jakarta–the last stop for many of the birds in the illegal pet bird trade. This effort will occur under the umbrella of our recently-established non-governmental organization (“perkumpulan”) in Indonesia, Konservasi Kakatua Indonesia (Cockatoo Conservation, Indonesia). Our partners in KKI in Indonesia are Dudi Nandika (Secretary of KKI) and Dwi Agustina (Activity Coordinator).
Dudi Nandika received his S.Si. Degree (the equivalent of our Bachelor of Science degree) in 2005 from the Biology Department, Faculty of Mathematic and Natural Science, As-Syafi’iyah Islamic University, Jakarta, Indonesia. There, he was Head of the Association of Biology Students, and Coordinator of Education and Training of the Observor Bird Club. Dudi has a particular interest in bird-watching, and in parrots and cockatoos. He carried out a field study of a subpopulation of the extremely endangered sulphurea subspecies of Lesser Sulphur-crested cockatoos, which resulted in a publication in PsittaScene (the journal of the World Parrot Trust):
“Recent Observations of the Critically-endangered Sulphurea Subspecies of Yellow-crested Cockatoo, Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia ” ( Volume 18, No. 1, February 2006.)
Dudi is sekretaris (Secretary) in Konservasi Kakatua Indonesia.
Dwi Agustina received her S,Si. Degree (the equivalent of our Bachelor of Science degree) in 2005 from the Biology Department, Faculty of Mathematic and Natural Science, As-Syafi’iyah Islamic University, Jakarta, Indonesia. There she received the award as the Best Student III in 2006. She has carried out research in primate behavior and water bird monitoring.
In 2005, Dwi presented her research ” Distribution and Population Status of the Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus lanceolatus Temminck & Schlegel, 1844, at Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park, SE Sulawesi,” at the 4th Symposium on Asian Raptors, in Taiping, Malaysia in 2005.
Dwi is Program Coordinator for Konservasi Kakatua Indonesia.
PUSAT PENYELAMATAN SATWA (PPS)
The Network of Wild Animal Rescue Centers in Indonesia
Indonesian Wild Animal Rescue Centers (Pusat Penyelamatan Satwa in Indonesian and shortened as “PPS”) are an important part of the national program for the Indonesian protected animal management. Indonesia is one of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Fauna and Flora) ratified countries. One of the resolutions of CITES implies building rescue centers for protected animals, like the PPS in Indonesia. The strategic function of PPS is to support the law enforcement effort for conservation of Indonesian protected species.
The need for PPS became clear during a Workshop about ‘the Management of Indonesian Protected Wild Species Kept as a Pet’, conducted in Bogor, West Java on 20-21 July 2000. The workshop resulted in 11 important recommendations, one of them being the building of rescue centers for protected wild animals derived from law enforcement effort.
To reinforce the work of PPS, a PPS Network has been established, consisting of a partnership between the Forestry department and the management of the PPS. The PPS Network has been built to develop consensus and commitment to law enforcement for the conservation of government-protected wild animals.
In conclusion, the main goal of PPS is to take care of the confiscated animals and, if possible, release them into their natural habitat again. Furthermore, PPS is a center for environment education, especially regarding animal protection;it monitors the trade in protected wild animals ; and it supports the preservation of several conservation areas.
The Chief Medical Officer of the entire PPS System is Drh. Wahyu Widyayandani (“Drh. Wita), with whom IPP works closely. We also collaborate with, and often seek advice from Dr. Resit Sozer, a raptor specialist at the PPS in Cikananga).
Rosek Nursahid, Director
ProFauna Indonesia is a non-governmental organization working for the protection of wild animals and their habitat. Formerly known as KSBK, it was established in Malang City, East Java in 1994 and has offices in Jakarta and Bali, with members throughout the country. ProFauna is the only animal protection organization in Indonesia which has a voluntary membership system, enabling the organization, despite limited staff, to achieve a great deal more than otherwise would be possible.
The majority of ProFauna’s work involves advocacy campaigning for the protection of wild animals; undercover investigation into the illegal trade in wild-caught animals; and animal rescue, all using non-violent means.
ProFauna Indonesia has conducted numerous investigations into the trade and exploitation of Indonesian wild animals, with notable examples including:
- trade in sea turtles in Bali
- trade in bears and bear-parts
- monitoring of zoos
- illegal capture and trade of parrots.
They released an extensive report (“Flying Without Wings”) about corruption, illegal trapping, and marketing of Indonesian birds, especially from Papua and the Moluccas (notably North Maluku province, a site proposed for action in this application).
Investigations are regularly followed by campaign and law enforcement programs. Research by ProFauna has resulted in several major raids on traders in sea turtles, with illegal trade reduced by up to 80% as a direct result. They are also actively involved in confiscation strategies under the auspices of the Forestry Department of the Republic of Indonesia. During 2002, they were involved in 28 confiscation activities resulting in the rescue of over 300 protected and endangered indigenous animals. They also seek to expose exploitative and cruel activities carried out in the name of conservation.