Sunday, 26 October 2008

llegal trade in endangered primates rampant in Indonesia: NGO

llegal trade in endangered primates rampant in Indonesia: NGO

Source: AFP - October 15, 2008 JAKARTA

The illegal trade in endangered primates is increasing in Indonesia's East Java province as traders market the animals in public, a conservation expert said Wednesday.

Primates such as slow lorises and Javanese langurs can be bought on
the street in Malang, according to Rosek Nursahid, director of the independent animal rights group ProFauna.

"Besides selling the endangered primates on busy public streets, the traders use abusive methods to domesticate the animals," he said. "The fangs of the slow lorises are pulled ... (and) they are forced to be awake during the day, when actually they are nocturnal animals as they hunt their prey at night." He said there were no reliable figures on population numbers in the wild but based on the loss of habitat due to rampant deforestation "their numbers are declining fast."

Buying and selling endangered species is prohibited under Indonesian law
and carries sentences of up to five years in prison. ProFauna has reported the Malang primates trade to local authorities but so far nothing has been done to stop it, Nursahid said. Other than primates, ProFauna reported that about 10,000 wild hook-billed parrots were being smuggled out of Halmahera and Talaud Islands annually, destined mainly for the Philippines.