AMBON, KOMPAS.com – Authorities from the Nature Conservation Agency [BKSDA] in the Indonesian province of Maluku have released more than 90 animals of various species endemic to the island back into the wild, following their return from other parts of Indonesia.
BKSDA Maluku official Meity Pattipawael said the animals are part of 144 specimens returned to Maluku from the agency's branch offices in Jakarta, East Java, and North Sumatra.
She added that the animals, which included 42 blue-tongued skinks, 27 Weber’s sailfin lizard, eight Moluccan cockatoos, nine Maluku red lory, and four rainbow lorikeets, will be released at Manusela National Park.
“Manusela National Park is the right place to release the species back to the wild because of its pristine and well-conserved state,” Meity said.
“[The park] also has abundant food sources [for the animals]. Most of all, it is situated far from human habitation and the dangers of civilization such as poaching.”
She added that not all of the animals can be released because of their injuries. “Three cockatoos cannot be released into the wild because of injuries to their feet and wings. They are currently treated at Manusela’s Masihulan Animal Rehabilitation Center.”
Meity said the other animals will be released at the Mount Sahuwai National Park on Seram Island in the Passo Ambon area on August 17 or 18.
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The 144 specimens were brought back to Ambon on August 11 in conjunction with Indonesia’s Nature Conservation Day.
“Eighty-six of the animals came from Jakarta, while 44 others came from East Java,” said BKSDA Maluku head Daniel H. Pattipelohy on receiving the birds and reptiles.
“The rest, or 14 animals, came from North Sumatra.” The specimens featured prominently in the illegal wildlife trade in Indonesia and other countries despite their Vulnerable or Near Threatened status in the IUCN List.
(Writers: Rahmat Rahman Patty, Ambon Contributor | Editor: Robertus Belarminus)
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