Target: President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Goal: Crack down on the illegal pet trade to protect endangered pig-nosed turtles from extinction
The Indonesian authorities recently confiscated hundreds of pig-nosed turtles from a smuggler at an airport in Jakarta, the nation’s capital. The smuggler had over 10 percent of the rare and endangered turtle species, known as the ploughshare tortoise, crammed into a bag. According to officials, they do not know who sent the turtles but they believe that the turtles were being delivered to Europe or another Asian country. Fortunately, the authorities were able to stop the person from illegally trading an endangered species. However, the fact that the smuggler managed to collect that many turtles suggests that security and supervision over these animals are not tight enough. The Indonesian government must do a better job at protecting endangered species like the pig-nose turtle.
The officials at the Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport managed to save 687 pig-nosed turtles from this incident, but that does not mean that the officials can be successful every time. The government must go to the core of the issue and find ways of preventing the smugglers from even capturing these defenseless animals. If the security or supervision over these animals were improved and if punishment were stricter for smugglers, the government might be able to prevent the trade more effectively. The government has to work harder in saving endangered species because the illegal trade continues to flourish.
The pig-nose turtle resides in freshwater streams, lagoons, and rivers and are known for their snouts. These turtles take up to 20 years before reaching maturity and thus, they can be very vulnerable to human threats. Not only are young pig-nose turtles being captured and illegally traded, their eggs are also jeopardized by similar markets that aim to trade these eggs for consumers interested in harvesting the wild animal as a pet. These turtles are in constant danger and thus, their numbers are declining.
In order to prevent the extinction of this species, the Indonesian government must tighten security over the animals and stop smugglers from successfully capturing them and selling them in the international pet trade.
Dear President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,
Officials recently saved 687 pig-nosed turtles from being illegally traded in the international pet market. The officials found nearly 10 percent of the population in a crammed bag at the Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport. The fact that the smuggler was able to capture that many turtles and attempted to trade them suggests that the protection over this endangered species is lacking.
The government must improve security for these animals. The pig-nosed turtles are in constant danger from human threats as well as environmental threats and their numbers are steadily declining. If nothing is done to help prevent smugglers from being able to capture these animals, the species risks extinction.
The government cannot let that happen and something needs to be done to protect these animals better.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Shutterxrelease via Flickr