Indonesia’s Booming Bird Markets Put Songbirds at Risk
Ahead of the Asian Songbird Crisis Summit, details on the scale of Indonesia’s bird markets focus attention on the pet trade in Southeast Asia.
A cacophony of birdsong rings out from hundreds of wire and bamboo cages strung along awnings and crisscrossing the ceilings of cramped open-air stalls at Pramuka, Indonesia’s biggest bird market, in the capital, Jakarta.
Thousands of wild birds—ranging from tiny brown finches and brilliant rainbow lorikeets to small-bodied, large-eyed owls—will be sold as pets to local collectors. Most of the birds were trapped illegally.
A new report from researchers with TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring organization, highlights the vast scale of Indonesia’s bird trade.
During three days in 2014, researchers counted more than 19,000 birds for sale in Pramuka and two other bird markets in Jakarta, representing more than 200 species. These markets are among the largest in Southeast Asia.
Prices ranged from