Bird of Paradise Under Threat
No-one doubts the beauty and appeal of the unique Papua Bird-of-Paradise. The colorful feather, its enchanting dance and beautiful chirp amidst the serenity of primary forests in Tanah Papua and Maluku Islands have mesmerized anyone. Their existence inspires many people.
Ferdinand Magellan's (the explorer) assistant Antonio Pigafetta, described the beauty of bird-of-paradise as a bird with tail as dove’s; “We are informed that those birds came from earthly heaven and is called Bolon diuta (bird of god), that means the bird of God,” said Antonio.
The bird-of-paradise and their habitat have always been threatened. The hunt of bird-of-paradise still exists despite the different level if compared to that of in the 20th century.
The bird's feathers were a distinguished commodity, reaching the peak in early 20th century when Europeans and Americans were enamored by hat fashion with bright colored feathers. From 1905-1920, around 30,000 - 80,000 birds-of-paradise were killed and their feathers went to auction house in London, Paris and Amsterdam.
Threats also come from land use change of primary forest into plantations, mining and other uses. From 1990 to 2019, the size of forests in Tanah Papua decreased by nearly 2 million hectares from 33 million hectares.
Each hectare of primary forest in Tanah Papua and Maluku removed will increase the risk of global warming. Not only in Indonesia, but in the world. This threatens not only the bird-of-paradise but also the survival of mankind. -Lufty Mairizal Putra
Photo or video credit: Tim Laman/ EcoNusa
Text Credit: Lutfy Mairizal Putra
Date : 8 April 2021