The Moluccan cockatoo has been placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has added the Moluccan cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) of Indonesia to the federal list of threatened species, placing it under the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, FWS will allow for the bird to be imported, exported and traded throughout the United States in certain instances.
In its final listing rule published today in the Federal Register, FWS reported that the current population of the Moluccan cockatoo, also known as the salmon-crested cockatoo, Seram, pink-crested or rose-crested cockatoo, is approximately 62,400 and declining.
FWS stated that the bird is likely to become an endangered species within the "foreseeable future," primarily due to extensive logging and conversion of lowland forests to agricultural lands and to the uncontrolled, illegal trapping of the birds for the domestic and international pet trade. Also, existing regulatory mechanisms, as implemented, are inadequate to mitigate the current threats to the salmon-crested cockatoo, according to FWS.
Granting foreign species protection under ESA typically means that the import or export of the species, as well as their sale in interstate or foreign commerce, is prohibited. Permits can be issued to allow these prohibited actions for specific circumstances, such as for scientific or education purposes.
However, under a special provision included in FWS’ final rule, import and export of certain salmon-crested cockatoos without a permit under ESA will be allowed, provided that the import and export comply with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Wild Bird Conservation Act. This special provision applies to birds taken from the wild and held in captivity prior to Jan. 18, 1990 (that’s when salmon-crested cockatoos first became protected under CITES) and to captive-bred birds.
The special rule also allows for interstate commerce of birds already in the United States. Specifically, a person may deliver, receive, carry, transport, ship, sell, offer to sell, purchase, or offer to purchase a salmon-crested cockatoo in interstate commerce without obtaining a permit under ESA.
“Allowing interstate commerce of birds captive-bred and reared in the United States will preclude the U.S. demand for salmon-crested cockatoos obtained from international markets, which would otherwise contribute to the illegal capture and trade of wild birds,” FWS wrote in the final rule.
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The final rule becomes effective on June 27, 2011. To view the final rule as published in the Federal Register, go to the website.