Protect Owls from Harry Potter-fueled Trafficking

Target: Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Indonesian Environment Minister

Goal: Crack down on the illegal sale of owls as pets and list owls as protected species under Indonesian law.

Conservationists are concerned that the worldwide popularity of the Harry Potter series of books and movies has led to a recent uptick in the number of owls sold illegally in markets across southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia. A recent study suggests that giving owls as pets to children has become a growing trend, revealing that thousands of the birds were sold in 2016, often listed as “Harry Potter birds.”

While selling any wild-caught birds is illegal in Indonesia, the enforcement of current wildlife trafficking laws is weak in the island nation. Many experts agree that the current surge in popularity is threatening wild populations, and that legal protection must be extended to prevent the capture of endangered owls. Of the over 1000 owl species found for sale as part of the study, none of them were listed as protected species.

Owls are wild, nocturnal predators that do not adjust well to captivity. Many, if not most, of these captured birds will die miserable deaths in the name of profit and to feed the current cultural craze. Sign below to demand that Indonesia enforce existing wildlife trafficking laws and list threatened owls as protected species.


Dear Minister Bakar,

Owls have become popular as pets in Indonesia following the worldwide success of Harry Potter, ignoring the fact that in real life, owls are wild animals that do not do well when confined and harassed. Thousands of wild-caught owls are now flooding poorly regulated markets, putting endangered populations at risk and subjecting these birds to cruel and early deaths.

Owls cannot be allowed to suffer so that illegal traffickers can make a quick profit or to indulge the fantasies of Harry Potter enthusiasts. These owls deserve ethical treatment and must not be regarded as commodities. We urge you to enforce existing laws banning their trade and to list all threatened owls as protected species under Indonesian law.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Klausdie

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