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 mission of Dr. Stewart Metz – Director of Indonesian Parrot Project – and his team is manifold:
- to eliminate trapping for the pet trade
- work with the villagers to identify alternate means of sustainable income.
- increase “Awareness” of the fundamental types and nature of parrots involved; the inhumane effects of trapping and the wild bird trade and, more importantly its lasting and detrimental effects upon a natural gift (and resource) which is localized to their small region alone. The lack of sustainability of bird trapping is also underscored.
- to improve the conditions of these parrots that are currently kept as pets through education The sad reality is that the lack of public education and protective animal welfare legislation in effect to specifically define the neglect and abuse of birds has had a sobering effect — far too many birds in captivity languish in substandard, neglectful and/or abusive conditions.
- Volunteers (please refer below to Dr. Stewart’s statement below)
- Plan your next vacation! Consider an amazing experience: An Eco Tour … to get an once-a-lifetime look at this lost paradise and its creatures. Project Bird Watch invites YOU to join them on eco-expeditions to the beautiful remote, exotic, idyllic islands of Indonesia. http://indonesian-parrot-project.org/ecotours.html
- Tax-deductable Donations or Shop for a Gift: http://indonesian-parrot-project.org/help.html
About the Indonesian Parrot Project
By Dr. Stewart Metz
There are many challenges facing the Rehabilitation Center. One is the logistical complexity of providing adequate veterinary facilities and support in a location that is as remote as north Seram Island and which lacks fixed electrical power–and therefore, refrigeration, modern lighting, incubators, computers, Internet, e-mail, and significant on-site laboratory testing. One of our next steps will be to try to obtain power for these via use of non-polluting solar panels (both fixed and portable), with a concomitant decrease in the necessity for the use of polluting and expensive generators. Simultaneously, we are just beginning the task of establishing collaborations and setting up PCR assays for key psittacine diseases in Indonesia; these tests will likely be run in an urban setting in the Western part of the archipelago.
Another difficulty lies in obtaining permanent, on-site veterinary staffing. In part related to the problems cited above, it is difficult to attract qualified vets to move from the much-more affluent and modern areas of Java and Bali, to a remote island and care solely for parrots. We hope to supplement our current veterinary staff with veterinarians from other countries who might be interested in spending a “sabbatical” period on Seram (Maluku Province) for three or more months, helping to care for the birds and improve our facilities. They in turn would receive totally unique access to, and experience with, a wide variety of psittacines representing all three subfamilies, but also the opportunity to immerse oneself in the peoples, forest, and unparalleled outdoor habitat and activities of a true Eden.
Interested parties should contact Dr. Stewart Metz directly.