Shut Down Illegal Bird Markets

Target: Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia

Goal: End illegal bird trade in Indonesia by shutting down caged bird markets.

Millions of birds, many endangered and rare, are captured from the wild each year to be caged and sold in Indonesia’s illegal bird markets. The markets are notorious for flagrantly selling protected and endangered species, and a lack of law enforcement has allowed them to go unpunished. This harmful and illegal bird trading has brought many species to the brink of extinction. Indonesia’s caged bird markets must be shut down.

Bird keeping is very popular throughout Indonesia, and songbirds in particular are considered ideal pets. As a result, many songbird populations have greatly decreased in number with some species now consisting of fewer than fifty birds. Even the pitta, an extremely rare bird distinct for its brightly colored plumage and nearly impossible to find even in the wild, is a common sight at the bird markets.

There are laws that ban the hunting and trade of all pitta species, yet researchers claimed to see over eighty of them in seven of the eight bird markets they visited in Java. Pitta birds stand out because of their coloring, and therefore should be easy to spot by enforcement officials. The fact that these bird markets remain open despite such blatant illegal actions demonstrates how vital it is that law enforcement makes a greater effort to investigate them and end illegal trading.

Indonesia’s rainforests contain more biodiversity than most places in the world, and are already threatened by deforestation. The hunt for rare birds to be traded in caged bird markets is having a dramatically negative effect on these endangered species, causing their numbers to rapidly decline and hastening the loss of biodiversity in Indonesia’s rainforests.

This added threat on top of the habitat loss that is already occurring will soon drive many rare bird species to extinction. Sign the petition below to urge the Indonesian government to increase the enforcement of illegal bird trading laws and shut down these harmful markets.


Dear President Widodo,

Caged bird markets in Indonesia have been selling millions of rare and endangered birds each year despite laws that ban the hunting and trading of threatened birds. Many rare birds are caged and sold as pets, and as a result many songbird populations are rapidly declining in number with some species on the brink of extinction.

Indonesia’s rainforests are full of biodiversity and are already threatened by deforestation. This loss of habitat is having a negative effect on threatened bird species, and the hunt for rare birds to be illegally traded in bird markets is only adding to an already serious problem. These bird markets are flagrantly showcasing rare and protected birds in blatant disrespect of the law, and greater law enforcement is needed to end this threat to endangered species.

I am urging you to increase law enforcement and investigate the illegal bird trading taking place at these markets. Please take action to shut down illegal activities and protect these rare species from the threat of extinction.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mindy McAdams

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  1. kay allan says:


  2. hal shootel says:

    Mr. President,
    If you cannot enforce the laws of your land please step down and let someone do the job who knows how. Clearly you are a sorry excuse of about everything.

  3. Jane Morrow says:

    If they’re not eating them or destroying their habitat, they’re selling them – anything for a $ in Asia. They won’t be happy until the rainforest are empty of life.

  4. “So many people insist they are against animal abuse, cruelty, suffering and the inhumane treatment of animals, yet they don’t understand they are actively engaging in and supporting egregious suffering, abuse, cruelty and inhumane treatment when they eat animals and their ‘by-products.’ If you are against cruelty, suffering and inhumane treatment, then you go vegan. It’s just that simple.” – Sarah Kiser

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