Green Chromide (Etroplus suratensis)
Sengkang, 13th January 2016

Indonesia: Three female Orangutans have died in a land fire near a protected forest in Indonesia amid claims the blaze was started deliberately
The Orangutans were caught in a blaze in Bontang City, East Kalimantan
They were one twenty year old, one ten year old, and a baby Orangutan around age of one
Fire was ‘deliberately started to clear land for farming’ according to claims
Orangutans were discovered after resident posted a picture on Facebook

They were buried by a team of officers to prevent possible diseases
By Gianluca Mezzofiore, 28th February 2016;

These are the horrific pictures of three female Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) who were killed in a land fire in Indonesia.

The Orangutans – two twenty year olds (Actually, based on other sources, one was around twenty years old while the other was around ten years of age) and a baby around the age of one – were caught in the blaze near a protected forest in Bontang City, East Kalimantan.

The founder of the Centre for Orangutan Protection, Hardi Baktiantoro, claims the forest fire was deliberately started to clear the land for farming.

“It is completely illegal to clear forest land by burning it, and in this case the land that was burnt still had three Orangutans living there,” he said.

After investigating the death of the Orangutans, a team of officers from the Kutai National Park and the Bontang city police buried the three orangutans.

“The bodies of the Orangutans were decayed so we buried them soon after the investigation to prevent them from spreading disease,” the head of the Kutai National Park Office, Erly Sukrismanto, said.

The bodies of the Orangutans were discovered after a resident posted a picture of them on Facebook.

Professional photojournalist Yuli Seperi said: “I saw a friend post a status on Facebook about the deaths so I went the location where the three Orangutans were.”

“The deaths made me extremely upset as Orangutans are a huge icon to Indonesia.”

The forest fires are claimed to have started around 14.30 Saturday 20th February.

The founder of the Centre for Orangutan Protection said: “It is not clear why the three Orangutans could not escape the fire as they usually can. Perhaps they were afraid of the humans that surrounded the fragmented forest.”

“The three dead are believed to be a family of all females, one twenty year old, one ten year old, and one baby Orangutan around the age of one.”

Source: The Daily Mail

Indonesia: Sumatran Elephants poisoned, electrocuted

By Apriadi Gunawan and Jon Afrizal, 28th February 2016;

Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) populations have been continuing to decrease mainly due to illegal hunting, which uses various methods to kill the protected giant mammal, from poisoning to electrocution.

“Recently, we found many Elephants dead from poisoning and electrocution. The illegal hunters consider those ways not too risky,” Doni Gunaryadi of the Indonesia Elephant Conservation Forum (FKGI) told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

Doni said almost every month an Elephant was found dead in Sumatra due to illegal hunting that takes place in eight of the island’s nine provinces.

He said that today there was no Elephant hunting in West Sumatra because there had been no Elephants in the province since 2007 when their habitat in Kota Panjang was used for the construction of a hydro power plant.

According to the FKGI’s data, the Elephant population across Sumatra is estimated to have reached 2,400 in 2007, but had decreased to 1,700 elephants in 2014.

Doni said there had been an increase in illegal hunting recently due to high prices being paid for the animal’s tusks.

For a super quality tusk, he said, the price could reach tens of millions of rupiah per kilogram while the price of a small tusk could reach millions of rupiah per kilogram.

He said tusks of Sumatran Elephants were sold in and outside of Sumatra, reaching Bali and East Nusa Tenggara where foreign buyers were waiting. “The buyers are mostly foreigners. They love Sumatran Elephant tusks because they’re beautifully shaped and strong,” he said.

Besides illegal hunting, Doni said, the decreasing population of the Elephants was also caused by the expansion of plantations, including massive palm-oil plantations.

He said the Elephants that lost their habitats entered residential areas to seek food and were getting into trouble with villagers.

“Conflicts between Elephants and residents are happening, especially in Riau, Jambi and Aceh. In those three regions, the mortality rate of Elephants is dozens every year,” he said.

FKGI chairman Krismanko Padang said police were currently detaining two illegal hunters for killing two Elephants in Tebo regency in Jambi recently. Police are also searching for the hunters’ accomplices.

Krismanko said the hunters, who were arrested in Riau, would be charged under the Conservation Law for crimes that carried a maximum punishment of five years in prison and a fine of Rp 100 million (US$7,100).

On Jan. 21 the Pangkalan Kerinci District Court in Riau sentenced four men to two-and-a-half years in prison each for hunting and killing Elephants in Tesso Nilo National Park (TNTN) in Pelalawan regency. The court also fined them Rp 20 million each.

Source: Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Sumatran Elephants poisoned, electrocuted

Philippine Eagle Foundation personnel treat the wound suffered by Philippine Eagle Matatag, who was shot by a farmer a year after the Eagle was released to the wild.
Photo: Philippine Eagle Foundation

Philippines: Shooting shows danger still lurks for endangered Eagle
By Joselle R. Badilla, 26th February 2016;

Matatag, the rehabilitated Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) that was released to the wild last year, was wounded when shot by a farmer in a hinterland village in Baguio District here on Sunday.

The adult male Eagle was released in Mt. Apo last year. It moved 13 kilometers north from his release area to the territorial borders of the Obu Manuvu community in Barangay Carmen here.

On Sunday, however, a farmer brought the wounded Eagle to the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, admitting that he shot it with a .22-cal. rifle.

The farmer, Tiburcio Aparesio, 24, said he accidentally shot the bird and brought it to the center after realizing it was an Eagle.

Dr. Anna Lascano, the center’s veterinarian, said the Eagle was wounded in the right wing.

Chief Insp. Leonardo Pamplona, Baguio District police precinct commander, said the center called the precinct about the Eagle being shot and the perpetrator bringing the Eagle to center.

Pamplona said police brought Aparesio to the precinct but on Monday, Aparesio’s younger brother, Rolando, claimed responsibility.

He said the brothers are detained at the precinct for violating Republic Act No. 9147, also known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

But the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) said a witness supported Rolando’s claim that it was he who shot the Eagle.

Matatag is still under observation, but appears to be responding well to medication, Lascano said.

A weak Matatag spent at least three years in rehabilitation at the center after it was turned over in 2011.

It was released more than a year ago to forests being claimed as ancestral land of the Obu Manuvu tribe.

Dennis Salvador, PEF executive director, said Matatag’s case underscores the continuing decline in population of the endangered Philippine Eagle even in supposedly protected areas.

Salvador called on people to be more involved in the protection of Philippine raptors.

“We cannot be complacent,” he said.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines: Philippine Eagle ‘Matatag’ shot in Tambobong
26th February 2016;

Matatag is back at the Philippine Eagle Center after being shot in Brgy. Tambobong, Baguio District, Davao City last February 21, Sunday, at around 8:00 AM by a resident of the said barangay.

Tiborcio Solis Aparesio, brought the wounded Eagle to the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) and claimed responsibility for the shooting and said that he used a .22 caliber rifle. The Eagle’s identity was verified by Joshua Donato, Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) Senior Field Biologist, when he checked the bird’s leg band. Resident veterinarian, Dr. Anna Lascano immediately treated Matatag.

Initial results show that Matatag fractured his right wing. Scattered pieces of bones and shrapnel were seen in the x-ray.

The incident was later reported to the patrolling police officers of Police Station 11 onboard at the Davao City Water District compound. The PEF staff also turned over the suspect to PO3 Kent R. Lahorra.

But the following day, the suspect’s brother, Rolando Solis Aparesio, went to the Baguio Police Station and claimed that he was the one who shot Matatag and not his brother. A witness supported the claim and added that it was really Rolando who shot the Eagle and Tiburcio was only covering up to his brother.

Donato, as the complainant, filed a case of violation of RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act for causing injuries to Matatag against the Aparesio brothers. They are currently under the custody of the police. Meanwhile, Matatag is still under observation but appears to be responding well to medication.

Matatag was released back to the ancestral forests of the indigenous Obo Manuvu tribe over a year ago after 3 years of rehabilitation of the Philippine Eagle Center.

PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said that this incident only underscores the continuing decline in population of the endangered Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) even in the most protected territories.

Ultimately, Salvador calls on Filipinos to be more involved in the protection of Philippine raptors. He adds that we cannot be complacent—that the protection of our national bird cannot be left to our forest guards but should be the responsibility of everyone.

Source: Philippine Eagle Foundation