[Warning] Horrible airport discovery links to deforestation

At 1MW we try to see the positive in everything, but sometimes there are pieces of news that really upset us. Deforestation has a lot of negative impacts, and yesterday another emerged. Warning: not for the faint hearted.

More than 24 critically endangered cockatoos were rescued by police after being found stuffed in water bottles – alive – for illegal trade. The smugglers crammed the birds into empty bottles to get through customs at Port of Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, Indonesia. Indonesian police discovered the birds and immediately cut them free to receive medical attention. The birds can be sold for as much as£650 (AU$1,242) each.

The yellow-crested cockatoos are listed critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The population is critically low due to deforestation and poaching. Recent studies suggest there may be less than 7,000 left. More than 10,000 parrots (including cockatoos) are caught from the wild in North Halmahera, Indonesia, each year to supply the domestic and international illegal wildlife trade.

Up to 40% of birds die during the smuggling process. That means for every 1,000 caught, 400 die during the poaching, transportation and trade, due to poor conditions and cruel handling. So not only are they dying because of deforestation, the smugglers are killing more of them by trying to make money from them!

The yellow-crested cockatoos breed very slowly and only lay their eggs once a year. They can only produce two eggs at a time, so they are now being killed by smuggling and deforestation faster than they can reproduce. Conservation of forest to agriculture is declining as large-scale logging grows. The use of pesticides is a further potential threat.

We're never happy to hear about the collateral damage made by deforestation, especially since the removal of trees does enough harm to the environment as it is. We need these beautiful forests to help absorb the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Our greenhouse gas emissions are already way too high, if we continue to cut down the natural resources that reduce our levels of CO2, our efforts to reduce them will be even more difficult. Please take the time to plant a small tree in your backyard, or get involved with a local gardening community in order to keep our beautiful natural resources alive and thriving. There is still time to turn things around.

What you can do

Plant trees to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere for everyone

Planting trees is a great way to restore the landscape, whether its 1 tree or thousands, and trees 'breathe' CO2 from the atmosphere. Our core calculation is that each tree will absorb 200kg of CO2 from the atmosphere over its main growing lifetime (we've allowed 30 years).

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Amy McClelland Website and Social Media coordinator Suggest an article Send us an email

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