Ongoing illicit trade of Sumatran Laughingthrush Garrulax bicolor: one-year market monitoring in Medan, North Sumatra

Tomáš Bušina, Nursahara Pasaribu, Marek Kouba


Many Indonesian birds are severely threatened or already at the brink of extinction due to the flourishing illicit bird trade. One such species is the Sumatran Laughingthrush Garrulax bicolor, endemic to Sumatra. From March 2015 to February 2016 we assessed the extent of trade of Sumatran Laughingthrushes by recording monthly turnovers from the six most prominent bird vendors in Medan’s Jalan Bintang market. In total, 2610 wild-caught individuals were traded, despite a considerable decline in market supply over the year. Total market mortality reached 16%. Mortality varied significantly during the year but was not dependent on the number of traded individuals each month. Monitoring revealed that the most frequently harvested localities were located in Aceh, North and West Sumatra and Riau province. Since the current estimate of the maximum population size of the species in the wild is 10,000 mature individuals, the level of trade is clearly unsustainable, and if not stopped, could lead to its extinction in near future.


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