The Jakarta Post
Excessive hunting has put a bird species native to the Ndora-Aegela forests in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, at risk of extinction. Local people still hunt protected birds in forests across the island, despite a ban on such practices. Located in Ulupulu village, Nangaroro district, Nagekeo regency, the forests are currently managed by the Nagekeo Forestry Agency.
A profile of the Wallacea ecosystem, compiled by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), has determined that the Ndora-Aegela forests are a key biodiversity area. Apart from its function as a water catchment area, a number of birds native to Flores are found in the forests.
On March 14, Burung Indonesia staff member Samuel Rabenak conducted a short survey in the Ndora-Aegela forests.
Rabenak said it did not take him long to spot two birds native to Flores, namely the Flores crow and the Wallace hanging parrot, locally known serindit Flores. Serindit Flores is listed as an endangered species.
Rabenak said the discovery of serindit Flores was good news for bird lovers and conservation activists overall. He said the Burung Indonesia team had also discovered several other bird species such as the Flores green pigeon, which is listed as a vulnerable species.
Many other bird species were found including the Flores lorikeet, the russet-capped tesia, the chestnut-capped thrush, Flores minivet, the yellow-ringed white-eye and.
Rabenak said the discoveries could offer an alternative destination for bird watchers in Flores. To date, Ndora-Aegela has not received much attention from bird watchers, who tend to focus their attention on the Mbeliling forests and the Ruteng Ecotourism Park in West Flores.
“Flores is a great destination for international bird watchers who want to observe birds native to Flores,” he told thejakartapost.com on Tuesday.
Nagekeo Regent Elias Djo said the local administration had prohibited people from hunting birds native to Flores and other bird species. Ndora-Aegela is a protected forest, so any kind of hunting activity is illegal.
“It is prohibited to hunt birds in Ndora-Aegela forests,” said Elias.
Maman Surahman, head of technical affairs at the East Nusa Tenggara Natural Resource Conservation Agency, told thejakartapost.com that all wildlife species in the conservation area were protected to maintain their numbers and to safeguard the balance of the ecosystem.
“It is important to educate society of the need to stop bird hunting,” said Maman. (ebf)