The export and re-export of CITES-listed birds from the Solomon Islands

To: Canberra Birds <>
Subject: The export and re-export of CITES-listed birds from the Solomon Islands
From: Robin Hide <>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 14:39:42 +1000
An interesting, and sobering, TRAFFIC report on wild bird exports from the Solomon Islands....

Large numbers of birds, including more than 68 000 wild-caught and reportedly captive-bred CITES-listed individuals, were imported from the Solomon Islands in the 2000s. The vast majority were imported by Malaysia and Singapore and often re-exported, particularly in the case of Singapore. In terms of species composition, there were a few species native to the Solomon Islands, however the majority (77%) were non-native species from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. 13 736 individuals of these non-native species were exported as “captive-bred”. However, it is unclear how the parent stock of these captive-bred birds was acquired as there is no documented export of these CITES-listed species to the Solomon Islands. In terms of the number of individual birds involved in the trade, the majority of exports were species native to the Solomon Islands (54 793). Of these native bird species, 13 692 were declared as wild-caught and 41 101 were reportedly captive-bred. These large numbers of native and non-native captive-bred birds suggest the existence of commercial breeding facilities on the Solomon Islands capable of housing thousands of breeding pairs. However, in 2006, CITES reported the Solomon Islands was “not known to have substantial bird breeding facilities” and a comprehensive State of the Environment report published by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Meterology (the Solomon Islands’ CITES Scientific Authority and Management Authority) in 2008 makes no mention of captive-breeding or captive-breeding facilities for birds. Meanwhile the Environment Conservation Division (ECD) informed TRAFFIC researchers (in litt.) that although there were registered bird breeders in the islands, they were not breeding birds, only taking them from the wild. Furthermore, the ECD wrote: “There are no breeding facilities, only some confusion with storing facilities. Most of the exported birds were captured and kept in holding sites only.” Solomons Cockatoos Cacatua ducorpsii at a location described as a “breeding facility” in the Solomon Islands in 2011. Over 20 000 of this native species were imported from the Solomon Islands between 2000-2010; nearly 75% of which were declared as captive-bred. Given the official confirmation of a lack of suitable bird breeding facilities in the Solomon Islands, these data lead to the inescapable conclusion that large numbers of wild-caught birds have been laundered into the global wildlife trade through
being declared as captive-bred.
Over the past decade, Singapore and Malaysia combined have accounted for 93% of all birds imported from the Solomon Islands, with significant amounts being re-exported elsewhere, such as Taiwan. The vast majority, if not all the birds declared as captive-bred are in fact sourced from the wild. This has grave implications for maintaining healthy populations
of birds in the wild."

Robin Hide

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