The Endangered Javan hawk eagle Spizaetus bartelsi is threatened in part by the illegal pet trade. In 1993 the species was declared Indonesia's National Rare/Precious Animal, by former President Soeharto. Trade in the species and keeping it as a pet are illegal. We consolidated data about the species in trade, as observed at bird markets, with private owners, in zoological gardens (to date the species has not been bred in captivity and those in zoos are all wild-caught that were formerly in trade) and wildlife rescue centres, involving at least 68 birds. The average price for the species at bird markets was USD 40 (n = 5). The number observed at bird markets appears to have increased over time. Furthermore, prior to its declaration as a National Rare/Precious Animal it was not considered in trade to be different from other large eagles. There are indications that individuals have been illegally exported to other parts of Asia. In the early 1990s no Javan hawk eagles were kept in zoos but it became in demand in the mid 1990s and now there are 11 in six zoos throughout Java. Law enforcement with respect to trade in eagles appears to be largely absent but nine Javan hawk eagles have been brought to a wildlife rescue centre on Java. Overall, the data suggest there was an increase in trade in Javan hawk eagles after it was declared the National Rare/Precious Animal. When a threatened species is put in the spotlight to highlight its conservation plight, this should be done with close cooperation between conservation NGOs and government organizations, with appropriate legislation and/or management plans to prevent overexploitation.
(Received June 19 2007)
(Reviewed July 26 2007)
(Accepted October 30 2007)
p1 Also at: Oxford Brookes University, School of Social Sciences and Law, Oxford, UK.
p2 Also at: TRAFFIC South-east Asia, Taman SEA, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.