Protected cockatoos returned to nature conservation agency

Pontianak, April 4 (ANTARA) - Pontianak`s Quarantine Office handed back five protected red-crested cockatoos (Lorrius domicellus) to the local Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) on Monday for safekeeping after the undocumented birds were about to be smuggled to East Java from West Kalimantan, according to the BKSDA office.

"The birds have been returned to the BKSDA because they are a protected species," said Azmal A.Z., head of Pontianak BKSDA.

Azmal added that one of the five birds, however, had been found dead because the cage they were put together was too small to be able to accommodate them healthily before they were handed over to the BKSDA office.

Azmal explained that the red-crested cockatoo is one of protected members of fauna based on the government regulation number 7 year 1999 on the preservation of flora and fauna species. Based on this regulation, this species of birds cannot be for sale or buy nor for being made a pet animal.

In addition, the confiscation of the birds based on local government regulation on the temporary banning of fowl transfers due to measure on containing avian flu. The violation of the regulations carries a penalty of three years imprisonment and a fine of 150 million rupiahs.

In related action on the matter, Niken Wury, Forest Ecosystem Control Coordination, a sub-division under the West Kalimantan BKSDA, said that she will move forward with legal proceeding against the violator of the regulation, Mrs. Sartinah of Bondowoso, East Java, who possessed the birds.

Mrs. Sartinah may face a jail sentence of up to maximum fife years for breaching the regulation based on the Law No. 5 Year 1990 on the conservation of nature resource and the ecosystem.

The birds will be turned in to the Sinka Zoo in Singkawang city as this zoo has been designated as a conservation institution.

"After undergoing a rehabilitation program at Sinka Zoo, the birds will be released back to their habitat," said Wury.(*)