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Profauna tackles illegal wildlife trade - February 2010      

profauna tackles illegal wildlife trade in indonesia

Thanks to intensive lobbying by ProFauna, one of our Indonesian project partners, authorities were able to successfully prosecute the perpetrator of a brutal theft and murder of a Sumatran tiger for body parts at Rimbo Zoological Garden in Jambi, Sumatera. This was the third instance during a four month period in which a critically endangered Sumatran tiger had been killed in an Indonesian zoo, sparking serious concerns for the safety of the animals. The vicious crime, which occurred in late August last year, carries a maximum prison term of 5 years under the Indonesian Wildlife Act, and it was seen as a great success for the authorities of wildlife law enforcement in Indonesia when a 3 year and 10 month sentence and one million IDR fine was handed down on the 11th of January.

Another victory followed on the 9th of February, when a trader in IUCN Red Listed slow lorises (Nycticebus coucang) who had been detained by the East Java Police Department with assistance provided by ProFauna late last year, received a 10 month prison sentence for selling six individuals of the species, which fetch approximately $A9-30 each on the black market. Additional animals that were found and saved in the raid include an extra 15 slow lorises (Nycticebus coucang), 15 Javan langurs (Trachypithecus auratus), a white-bellied sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), and a leopard cat (Felis bengalensis). Unfortunately the owner and trader of this confiscated wildlife remains at large, however it is truly good news that the animal victims are free of their captor.

ProFauna and the East Java Police Department have also been working together to reveal the extent of illegal wildlife trade in the province. In an attempt to increase the wildlife enforcement skills of the police, ProFauna held a training session on enforcement practices and identification of the most commonly traded animals in the region. The event was attended by 35 officials of the Police Department, and helped increase the awareness of participants with regard to the legal efforts in place to protect wildlife from illicit trade. Further plans are underway to hold similar training sessions for a variety of enforcement agencies in a range of Indonesian regions, with hopes of creating and reinforcing relationships with a number of authorities, and ultimately strengthening wildlife protection measures in Indonesia.

The work of ProFauna has resulted in major improvements for Indonesian wildlife, and HSI are proud to have been able to financially support their efforts.

Web: AndreasLustig.com