International Animal Rescue helps a Javan Hawk-eagle fly to freedom
International Animal Rescue's team in Indonesia has assisted with the release of a Javan Hawk-eagle in Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park in West Java, Indonesia.
The Javan Hawk-eagle (Spizaetus bartelsi), endemic to the island of Java, is an endangered species which is listed on Appendix II of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). The raptor is threatened by poaching and fragmentation of its habitat. However in spite of the trade restrictions, the bird is still traded in the pet markets in Indonesia and confiscations are common.nimal Rescue's team in Indonesia has assisted with the release of a Javan Hawk-eagle in Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park in West Java, Indonesia.
Juve, a juvenile Javan Hawk-eagle, was confiscated almost two years ago. After spending a year in a rescue centre elsewhere in Java, he came to Suaka Elang in November 2008. After he was declared physically and mentally fit to return to the wild, the search for a release site began. A place on the border of the national park was chosen from where he could fly straight down into a valley after leaving the habituation cage. Juve spent a few days in the cage before being released.
Juve was released on 18 August. Before the release a small ceremony was held in which different people involved in the project gave a speech on the serious pressures on raptors in Indonesia. The release site lies at the edge of a beautiful valley and everyone was eager to see Juve take his first taste of freedom. The habituation cage was opened, but Juve didn’t leave for more than 10 minutes. He appeared nervous and stressed and everyone took a step back to give him his space. Once he finally flew out of the cage and into the valley he was gone in seconds. The team managed to locate him with binoculars, far away in the trees in the valley. When most people left the site Juve was still there perched in the tree.
A monitoring team has stayed behind to keep track of Juve and make sure he is doing well. He has also been given wing marks which can easily be recognised from the ground when he flies. He has been fitted with a radio collar to allow continuous monitoring during the first two weeks. After this period constant monitoring will no longer be necessary, although the National Park staff will keep monitoring him on a regular basis.
Alan Knight, Chief Executive of International Animal Rescue, said: "We're delighted to be part of the raptor release programme of the Suaka Elang consortium: by working together all the organisations involved are making a real success of this very important project."
In 2007 a consortium of NGOs and government agencies founded Suaka Elang, a raptor sanctuary, in response to the threats and diminishing numbers of raptors in Indonesia. International Animal Rescue in Indonesia was one of the founders and still works closely with Suaka Elang and provides a full-time staff member at the raptor centre.