50,000 wild birds smuggled through Solomons: group

Jul 18, 2012
More than 54,000 wild birds, including critically endangered species like the yellow-crested cockatoo, were laundered through the Solomon islands into the global wildlife trade between 2000 and 2010, a wildlife group said.

More than 54,000 wild birds, including critically endangered species, were laundered through the Solomon islands into the global wildlife trade between 2000 and 2010, a wildlife group said Tuesday.

The birds, classified as "captive-bred" to skirt wildlife trafficking laws and in the main not native to the islands, were exported mostly to Singapore and Malaysia from where they were sold to other parts of the world, TRAFFIC said in a report.

"Between 2000 and 2010, more than 54,000 birds, mainly parrots and cockatoos, were imported from the Solomon Islands and declared as captive-bred," said the report, launched in Singapore.

"Yet confirmed to TRAFFIC that the Solomon Islands is not known to have substantial bird breeding facilities," it added.

TRAFFIC said Singapore and Malaysia accounted for 93 percent of all birds imported from Solomon Islands between 2000 and 2010.

Malaysia however has suspended its bird imports and TRAFFIC is urging Singapore to do the same.

"Singapore should follow Malaysia's lead in suspending bird imports, not only from the Solomon Islands but anywhere else if there is a lack of clarity as to their legal origin," said TRAFFIC's Southeast Asia deputy director Chris Shepherd.

The birds included vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered species such as the Yellow-crested Cockatoo, which cannot be traded under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, or CITES.

In addition, a majority of the birds were not native to the Solomon Islands but are found in Indonesia or .

The absence of records showing the had imported the birds indicated that they had been caught in the wild, TRAFFIC said.

Shepherd said the smugglers were deceiving authorities to gain access to the global .

"Declaring exported birds as being captive-bred has all the hallmarks of a scam to get around international trade regulations," he said in the report.

Explore further: Chemical spill had 'no impact on health': Costa Rica

Related Stories

Activists urge protection of hunted gecko species

Nov 16, 2011

Wildlife activists on Wednesday called for the orange-spotted Tokay Gecko to be protected under international laws following a spike in smuggling of the lizard, mainly for medicine in China.

Trapping threatens near-extinct Philippine eagle

Apr 28, 2011

Conservationists raised alarm Thursday over the future of the near-extinct Philippine eagle after several maimed or diseased birds were retrieved from captivity over recent months.

Hawks to patrol Singapore shopping district: report

Oct 12, 2011

Businesses along Singapore's famous Orchard Road shopping street plan to deploy trained hawks to scare off thousands of birds whose droppings rain down on pedestrians' heads, a report said Wednesday.

Malaysia plans sanctuary for captive tigers

Jan 14, 2011

Malaysia plans to set up a large enclosed natural habitat for captive tigers, a senior wildlife official said Friday, an ambitious proposal that has raised concerns among conservationists.

Recommended for you

Norway plans to slash subsidies to fur farms

7 hours ago

Norwegian fur farmers denounced Tuesday a government proposal to slash financial support to the controversial industry and warned that it could lead to farm closures in vulnerable rural areas.

Hitting the borders of expansion

11 hours ago

Why does a species not adapt to an ever-wider range of conditions, gradually expanding its geographical range? In their paper published on May 5 in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), Jitka Polecho ...

Fire linked to dieback spread

12 hours ago

Fire has the potential to increase the range and severity of Phytophthora dieback in native plant communities infected with the disease, suggests a study at the Stirling Range National Park near Albany.

How mixing light with salt makes a smolt?

12 hours ago

For decades, researchers have tried to find out what regulates changes in salmon when they transform from being freshwater to saltwater fish. Now they have come a little closer to an answer.

Australia—riding on the insect's back

13 hours ago

As you may have spotted, the title of this article is a cheeky reference to the famous saying that Australia rides on the back of a particular woolly ruminant. The reference dates back to 1894, when the wool ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Graeme
not rated yet Jul 22, 2012
There are flights from New Guinea to Solomon Islands, but there are none directly from Indonesia. Singapore should certainly be checking more carefully, and so should the other transit countries, eg Australia, even if the air freight is just moved from a Solomon Islands international flight to a Singapore flight the transit countries should be suspicious about live cargoes.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.