INTERNATIONAL, DILI, ENVIRONMENT

Authority calls on communities to stop killing and hunting endangered species: World Animal Day

Authority calls on communities to stop killing and hunting endangered species: World Animal Day

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DILI, 04 october 2022 (TATOLI) – The Secretary of State for Environment (SEA), through the National Biodiversity Directorate (NDB), called on rural communities to stop killing, hunting, and poaching wild animals and endangered species.

“I would like to kindly call on communities throughout Timor-Leste, particularly those living near the untouched tropical rain forest and the coastal communities to stop killing and hunting our endangered animals,” the National Director of Biodiversity, Rui dos Reis Pires made the call amid the commemoration of the World Animal Day, on tuesday (04/10), at his office, in Dili.

Despite efforts had been made by the Government and development partners to protect wildlife, many communities are still involved in the killing of Timor-Leste’s wild and endangered animals.

In fact, in Umaboku village of Natarbora Administrative Post in Manatuto Municipality, local communities still use airguns to hunt wild animals, of which many are on the endangered list.

Indeed, in the Umaboku village of Natarbora Administrative Post in Manatuto Municipality, local communities still use air guns to hunt wild animals, many of which are on the endangered list.

Meanwhile, Umaboku coastal communities continue to catch Timor-Leste’s endangered underwater species such as sharks, hammerhead sharks, turtles, and so on for commercial purposes.

SEA had established ‘Tara-Bandu’ (customary law) across the country to protect the nation’s species both underwater and on land.

“People still engage in poaching and hunting. So, we keep working to protect our wild and endangered animals from going extinct. Sustainable wildlife management is important to ensure that our future generation can still see these fantastic animals,” he said.

In Timor-Leste, people who commit serious environmental crimes can face up to three years in prison or pay a penalty of between 1000 and 10,000.

In december 2021, a Timorese poacher was sentenced to more than three years in prison for involvement in the wildlife trade.

According to Decree-Law No.6/2020, Timor-Leste’s endangered birds are: Wetar Ground Dove, Timor Green Pigeon, Timor Imperial Pigeon, Black Dove, Pink-headed imperial pigeon, Iris Lorikeet, Olive-shouldered Parrot, Cinnamon-banded kingfisher, Chestnut-backed Thrush, Orange-sided Thrush, White-bellied Bush Chat, Black-banded Flycatcher, Spot-breasted Heleia, Timor Sparrow, Timor Bush Warbler, Christmas Frigatebird, Yellow-crested cockatoo, Javan Plover, Malaysian Plover, Asian dowitcher, Beach Stone-curlew, Eastern Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Great Knot, Bar-necked Cuckoo Dove, Olive-headed lorikeet, Timor Coucal, Streaked Boobook, Timor Nightjar, Timor Oriole, Timor Figbird, Timor Wren-babbler, Plain Gerygone, Timor Stubtail, Timor Leaf-warbler, Buff-banded Thicketbird, Timor Blue Flycatcher, Fawn-breasted Whistler, Yellow-throated Whistler, Timor Friarbird, Streak-breasted Honeyeater, Flame-eared Honeyeater, Black-breasted Myzomela, Flame-breasted Sunbird, Blue-cheeked Flowerpecker, Tricolored Parrotfinch, Marigold Lorikeet, Wallacean Drongo, Sunda Bush-warbler, Pygmy Flycatcher, Brown Goshawk, Eastern Osprey, Pacific Baza, Black-winged Kite, Black Kite, Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Spotted Harrier, Chinese Goshawk, Eagle, Spotted Kestrel, Australian Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Red Junglefowl, Metallic Pigeon, Little Cuckoo-Dove, Banded fruit dove, Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, Great-billed parrot, Edible-nest Swiftlet, Glossy Swiftlet, Lesser Shortwing, Island Thrush, Yellow-breasted Warbler, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Helmeted Friarbird, Blood-breasted Flowerpecker, and Mountain White-eye.

In addition, these species are also on the endangered list: Saltwater crocodile, Lake Ira Lalaro Snakenecked Turtle, Reticulated Python, Water Python, Timor Python, Atauro Monitor, Tokay gecko, Timor Shrew, Western Naked-backed Fruit Bat, Sunda fruit bat, Lesser dawn bat, Gray flying-fox, Keast’s tube-nosed fruit bat, Lombok flying-fox, Large flying-fox, Geoffroy’s rosette, Indonesian tomb bat, Black-bearded tomb bat, Canut’s horseshoe bat, Sulawesi horseshoe bat, Timorese horseshoe bat, Undescribed Large-eared, horseshoe bat, leaf-nosed bat, Diadem leaf-nosed bat, Sumban leaf-nosed bat, Undescribed Hairy-winged bat, Undescribed woolly bat, Undescribed tube-nosed bat, Undescribed long-eared bat, Little bent-winged bat, Large bent-winged bat, Australasian bent-winged bat, Small bent-winged bat, Undescribed Forest Rat, Undescribed Mosaic-tailed Rat, Undescribed Mosaic-tailed Rat, Buhler’s Coryphomys, and Musser’s Coryphomys.

Moreover, these Timor-Leste’s underwater species are also put on the endangered list: Turtle, Dugong, Whale, Dolphin, Seal, Sea Lion, Whale shark, Giant clams, Sea horses and Pipefish, Giant Wrasse, Coral, Nautilus, and Cowry/cowrie.

World Animal Day helps gather people together to raise awareness and improve education nationally so animals can live the lives they deserve.

“World Animal Day is important for us to sensitize communities to protect our animals, especially wild and endangered animals across the country,” Reis concluded.

World Animal Protection said that World Animal Day is an annual event on the 4th of October, celebrating animal rights and welfare across the globe. It’s an important day and has been marked since 1925, with a growing international community striving to end the needless suffering of all animals.

“There is a deepening crisis facing animals around the world, awareness days like World Animal Day help to highlight animal protection as a priority issue of global importance. World Animal Protection advocates and campaigns to help people understand and consider the complex lives of all animals,” said World Animal Protection.

 

 

 

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges

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