Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Purple Naped Lory of Ceram island

On the way to Ambon from Bula - the capital of East Seram regency, I met a bird vendor in the Transmigrasi area. That afternoon, the rain had just stopped and the driver stopped the car near a shop to load several sacks of rice. The farmers in the transmigrasi area of East Seram have turned the island into the center of rice production. 
Slowly and surely, sago and tuber roots as the staple food of the Moluccan people are being replaced by rice. It is one thing that should not have happened. The tropical rainforest of Seram that is rich of various species of plants and animals is now getting smaller due to the conversion of thousands of hectares of the forest area into monoculture palm oil plantations. I am really concerned about it. But this is a general phenomenon that occurs not only in the Moluccas but also in many islands in Indonesia that are rich of precious bio-diversity.
Sawit Palm Plantation in Seram island
I got off from the busto straighten my aching legs. I took the chance from this short stop to urinate at the nearby bush. When I walked out of the bush, I saw the bird seller was standing in front of the bus carrying an arch cane where a black head lory was perching. A passenger approached the bird seller and asked its price. The seller said that it was 1 million rupiahs. 
Purple-naped Lory (Lorius domicella)
This price is considered high for local standards. But as someone who has been working in the world eco-tourism business, I consider the price as relatively small or cheap. I can only hope that there will be birdwatching tour operators who are willing to help this bird trader by providing birding trips to the natural habitat of this bird. When writing this article, I try to find the name of this bird on the internet. After searching on the internet for around 2 hours, I managed to get some accurate information about the endangered bird. Its name is Purple-naped Lory (Lorious Domicella). According to CITES, the bird has been put in the Endangered status. It means that this bird may become extinct. Why is it endangered or threatened? Because birds are hunted and traded as cage pets.
Purple-naped Lory in Seram Island
It is sad to see that these birds of Seram island are continuously captured and sold to buyers outside Maluku. Moluccan birds will face extinction soon. 
It's a pity to loose all these important birds of Maluku. Although they look small and weak, they play important role in maintaining the balance of the environment. Birds spread the seeds of fruits that they eat to all corners of the forest. This function as seed dispersers makes Moluccan forests remain green. In addition, coastal birds that eat fish have directly provide natural fertilizer to forests in Seram, Ambon, Buru and other islands in Maluku that were formed from the coral reefs that came out of the sea water due to tectonic pressures. As a result, these rocky islands can now become fertile islands covered by tropical green vegetation.

Birding Tour in Sorong regency of West Papua
Golden Myna (Mino anais)
There is a birding site in Sorong regency called Klasow valley. It is covered by lowland tropical rainforest. Birds such as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Papuan hornbill, Large Fig Parrot, Black Lory, Magnificent Riflebird, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Brahminy Kite, Friarbird, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Dwarf Kingfisher make the forest as their natural habitat.
As a tourist guide, I often organize birding trips to the valley where visitors stay for 3 to 4 days to explore the wealth of avifauna of the forest. However, it is not only birds that we can see while walking in the jungle. There are butterflies such as the Silky Owl (Taenaris catops), Blue Mountain Swallowtail (Papilio ulysses).
Visitors, guided by local vilagers, can also do night walk to see wallaby (a kind of small kangaroo).

How to get there?

  • Fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
  • Fly to Sorong city
  • I will meet you at the airport to organize your trip and guide you into the valley.

Cost: Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send your message by whatsapp to my number +6281332245180 for customized itinerary and budget calculation.
by Charles Roring.