By Syamsul Huda M. Suhari
The North Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Center’s (BKSDA) Gorontalo section has urged the North Sulawesi provincial administration to issue a special bylaw to curb the widespread culinary trade in protected wildlife.
Gorontalo BKSDA head Hendrik Rundangan said the bylaw was necessary given the rate of wildlife poaching, which was especially high among protected and endemic species.
“The meat of the endemic babirusa, anoa and Sulawesi monkey is traded freely, especially at the Langowan market in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, some 500 kilometers from Gorontalo,” Hendrik said recently.
He said most animals sold at the Langowan “extreme culinary” market came from conservation areas in Gorontalo, such as the Nantu Wildlife Refuge.
Additionally, according to a BKSDA study, meat from other species sold at the market came from as far away as South Sulawesi and Kendari in Southeast Sulawesi.
He said poachers smuggled the meat in boxes filled with ice by private car, eluding authorities. “This is a new mode of operation. Previously, smugglers transported the animal carcasses by pickup truck,” said Hendrik.
The rate of poaching usually increases ahead of Christmas and New Year, as residents of North Sulawesi eat exotic wildlife meat as a tradition to celebrate the holiday season.
If a bylaw was issued, Hendrik said, the provincial administration could deploy police to raid poachers.
Hendrik said his office did already have laws governing poaching, such as Law No. 5/1990 on natural resource conservation, but they were ineffective. More....