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Jakarta Post

Papua bans hunting, trading of birds of paradise

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 9, 2017   /   10:13 pm
Papua bans hunting, trading of birds of paradise Conserving the species: Local resident Steven Rumbawar shows an artificial bird of paradise he produced. Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe has banned the use of real birds of paradise as accessories or souvenirs. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)

Papua has banned the use of birds of paradise as accessories and souvenirs, protecting one of the province’s most famous endemic species from commercial exploitation -- its most immediate threat.   

The move aims to reverse a trend that has resulted in the massive hunting and illegal trading of birds of paradise.

Authorities banned the hunting and trading through Circular No. 660.1/6501/SET issued by Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe, which prohibits the use of real birds of paradise as accessories and souvenirs.

“There’s no one allowed to use preserved birds of paradise, either, as accessories or souvenirs in dance performances or as head decorations presented to officials or guests visiting Papua. These all must be stopped. As replacements, they can use artificial birds of paradise,” said Papua administration regional secretary Heri Dosinaen during the celebration of World Environment Day in Nimbokrang, Jayapura regency, Papua, on Friday.

He said birds of paradise were on the brink of extinction in Papua as the species was extensively hunted and traded as accessories and souvenirs. “Without concrete actions to protect them, these birds will soon disappear from this Birds of Paradise Land,” said Heri. The use of real birds of paradise would be allowed only for sacred traditional processions in Papua, he added.

Following the issuance of the circular, Heri said, Papuan authorities would raid souvenir shops and take measures against anyone found selling and using real birds of paradise. “All accessories or souvenirs made from real birds of paradise would be confiscated,” he said. (ebf)

Critically endangered: Two Papuan girls show artificial bird of paradise accessories they will use in their dance performance.(JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)