The maleo, a bird endemic to Sulawesi, is on the brink of extinction as a result of poaching and a shrinking habitat. The Jakarta Post’s correspondent in the Central Sulawesi provincial capital of Palu, Ruslan Sangadji, takes a closer look at how land conversion, egg theft and international support may make or break conservation efforts.

by Ruslan Sangadji

Among other birds in Sulawesi, one of the Indonesian islands within the Wallacea biogeographical realm, the maleo stands out for its distinctive build and colors — it is so distinctive that the bird has been designated the official bird of Central Sulawesi. Its crown is ornamented with a black casque and its tail stands upright. An adult maleo is the size of a domestic chicken, at about 6...