Skip to main content

tv   Our World  BBC News  July 15, 2018 3:30am-4:01am BST

3:30 am
this is bbc world news. the headlines: president trump has confirmed he intends to run for re—election in 2020. speaking to his friend and journalist piers morgan he said he didn't believe any democrat could beat him. thousands of people in scotland have staged protests against his visit — as he played golf at his resort in ayrshire. palestinian officials say israel and militant groups in gaza have agreed a ceasefire. the announcement by a hamas spokesman comes after the israeli prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, said the israeli airforce had carried out its biggest attack against militant targets in the gaza strip since 2014. the 12 boys and their football coach who were rescued from a cave complex in thailand are to leave hospital on thursday, to be reunited with their families. the father of one of the boys has told the bbc the team had feared for their lives and that he was looking forward to hugging his son. now on bbc news, our world.
3:31 am
birdsong. the lush tropical forests of java. as civilisation encroaches, only pockets remain. and they are falling silent. songbirds are disappearing from the wild. trapped from the forest, sold as singing pets and status symbols. i am victoria gill and i am injakarta to investigate the insatiable demand for songbirds that's now driving an extinction crisis. people always want to buy songbirds? we really are firefighting, we are saving the last of the last.
3:32 am
this bird may be the only one of its kind left on the planet. this bird in here could be the last of this kind of bird? yep. birdsong. java, the largest and most crowded island in indonesia. home to more than 140 million people. cities, towns and villages seem to squeeze into every available space. there is very little pristine forest left here, but just a few square kilometrescan be home to hundreds of animals and birds. some are found only on this island. and some are critically endangered. but it is many of java's songbirds that have now slipped under the conservation radar to the very brink of extinction. a recent global conservation review revealed that 19 species are now trapped in such high numbers that they are in danger of dying out. human activity is driving species
3:33 am
towards extinction around the world. but here, where bustling megacities reach into tropical rainforest, it's a microcosm of that global crisis. so how has the trade in trapped songbirds reached such a tipping point? and can anything be done to save them? uwas is our guide on the steep slopes of mt malabar. he knows this forest inside out — it is where he made his living hunting and trapping.
3:34 am
this isjust showing me how you make a bird trap out ofjust sticks from the trees around us and a piece of string. what was the trapping for, where would those birds go? uwas is no longer in the bird trapping business. he has been able to convert his knowledge of this forest into conservation work. but many people still take birds from here. networks of trappers operate across this country, clearing the forests of birds. we're surrounded by trees. it looks like very good bird habitat, but actually there is very little birdsong. it is strangely quiet here. but there's one place you are guaranteed to find thousands of songbirds.
3:35 am
loud birdsong and commotion. this is pramuka market. it is the largest wildlife market in asia, possibly in the world. and it is crammed to the gills with caged birds. there can be more than 16,000 birds for sale here in a single day, more than 200 different species. there are three markets like this just in jakarta, so that gives you some idea of the scale of this market and this trade. loud birdsong and commotion. just the auditory assault on the senses is incredible. it is a very noisy place, and it is quite unpleasant, the smell is really quite acrid and overwhelming. for all it might seem to me like a strange, packed place with a strong smell, this is a centre of commerce and community here injakarta. in a growing economy, more and more people are spending their disposable income on the status symbol that is a valuable feathered pet.
3:36 am
what are the ranges of prices? that is between about 20 and several thousand us dollars for a songbird. while some birds fetched very high prices, many cost less than a dollar. they are more expensive to feed than they are to buy. people take dozens at a time, they are treated like disposable objects. this one here, this is a sunda bulbul, it lives up in the mountains of sumatra.
3:37 am
andrew 0wen has been working in bird conservation for more than three decades. he and his colleagues from zoos and wildlife conservation organisations around the world visit the market as often as they can to study it. they are looking for protected birds being sold illegally, but the market can also show them which species are most at risk, what is most popular, or an increase in price that might suggest a bird is becoming more rare. that bird there is a straw—headed bulbul, which is one of the birds of extreme concern for us, and it has been wiped out across almost all of its range, it is extinct injava, it has been listed as endangered and the next step may be it has to go to critically endangered. researchers monitoring the trade found that most birds here are caught from the wild, and protected species are sold in markets.
3:38 am
so why do so many people here want to own songbirds? driving around, you certainly see evidence of the demand. birdcages hang outside shops and houses. but this goes well beyond the desire for a companion in a cage. how many do you have in your house? you lose count? maybe five here. five birds. we have come to visit heri pranoto, a leader of a bird breeding association called the pbi. he also organises events where competitors pit their singing birds against each other. birdsong. what is the prize money? the prize is 5 million,
3:39 am
until maybe 1 billion. 1 billion rupiah? us$100,000 for the main prize. yes. wow. this is for the champion of champions. one of your birds is five times national champion? national champion. valuable bird! (laughs). while the big money is saved for the national championships, you can find smaller events across the country, every single weekend. we have heard a lot about bird singing competitions, and the absolute obsession in this country, and we have managed to arrange to go to one at bekasi, which is about two hours from here, which i think in this traffic means it's about three miles away, so we'll see if we ever make it. birdsong. chanting. the bird breeders association club have given me a t—shirt, and it is the official club dress, so i have to wear it during the competition. i am a guestjudge today, which should be interesting. birdsong. apparently the judges have to make
3:40 am
a decision based on the bird's tone, volume and performance. we'll see how that goes in the cacophony of birdsong that is about to commence. for a first—timer like me, this is a strange thing to witness, let alone tojudge. when caged male birds look around and see one another, they instinctively compete, singing to claim their territory. the judges signal their choice of winner with a flag. this is serious business. tony sumampau is an influential
3:41 am
friend of the bird breeders association. a wealthy zoo owner who is well—known in bird breeding circles. he wants to help transform the bird trade. and a bird? right. so to be a true man, you need a house, a wife, horses, a weapon, and a bird. then you are a realjavanese. then you are a real javanese man, 0k. congratulations! all the birds in this competition are bred in captivity. this association has banned wild caught birds from its events. there is a small breeding
3:42 am
centre at this venue. five times a day? yes, five times a day. since i am a guestjudge, tony arranges for me to have a tour. apparently i can feed one of the baby lovebirds. is that tasty? all the birds here are all captive bred ? yeah. that is what you encourage? right, right. because if you breed them in captivity for competition, then you can save the birds in the wild? a good parent! there is no doubt that everyone here loves songbirds. the prizewinners are in impeccable condition and undoubtedly give an impressive performance.
3:43 am
thank you, thank you. but does this love of birds, the desire so many people have to own one, mean that the future for the rarest, most beautiful singers is inside a cage? the critically endangered javan green magpie. perfectly camouflaged against tropical vegetation. but these birds have spent their lives in captivity. up in the rural hills of westjava is the cikananga conservation breeding centre. while the mountain forests used to be home to thousands of these birds, almost all of the tiny remaining population is now housed here. for andrew 0wen, this place is the focal point of his work
3:44 am
on the songbird crisis. this one is a young javan green magpie that is bred here. this is one of the rarest birds on the planet? how many are left in the wild? there are 60 in the breeding programme, so 60 on the planet, that we know of, and maybe a handful in the wild. that makes this centre the unlikely international hub for a conservation mission. we have three magpies to examine. one needs chipping, all three of them sexing. this team, made up of senior zoologists, is from chester zoo in the uk. this one is 8970... ajuvenile bird has been caught
3:45 am
for a vital health check. he could be 1/60th of the entire world population. so the chester vets educate the keepers in carrying out thorough assessments. these can be surprisingly risky. that's a privilege, to be bitten by a critically endangered species. i'm not going anywhere near it with my fingers. every bird has a tiny identification microchip implanted under its skin. blood samples will also reveal which males and females are most genetically compatible. every future chick is precious. biological matchmaking is vital. for some, though, there might not even be the chance of breeding in captivity. what's in here? in here we have a laughing thrush which is only found on the island ofjava.
3:46 am
and this particular bird is a subspecies that is only found on one mountain. this bird may be the only one of its kind left on the planet. this bird in here could be the last of its kind in the world? yeah. we know of no others. of this species, the subspecies. is it already too late for this bird, then? we hope not. we have plans to carry out surveys on the mountain to see if we can find more, and if we can, it will be an enormous relief. we really don't know at this stage. this may be the last bird. so what is this bird called? this bird is called azah, which in indonesian means "the lonely one." with its bars, locks and fences, the centre almost looks like a prison. but security for all of the critically endangered species here is a priority. all the birds here are incredibly valuable. so we have had an experience
3:47 am
of the birds being stolen here in the past, during ramadan in 2014. 150, 140 birds were stolen. theyjust came in, took all the birds in one night. they took a lot of them, which has really impacted our breeding programme, because a lot of the best couples were in these blocks that were targeted. that must have an heartbreaking for the staff here, to lose so many birds. yes, they remember it as this awful time, coming in work finding the cages ripped open. if they got stolen again, that's probably it. it's difficult to comprehend that a break—in at this one remote centre could mean the extinction of a species. these birds, the rarest of the rare, will remain here under lock and key. but is there anywhere left in java where they can fly freely and safely? a stone's throw from the chaos
3:48 am
of the city is the taman safari park. this is a jungle fairground, an eclectic home to creatures from all over the world. with its roots in the circus, it boasts animal shows and close encounters which have brought criticism from animal rights campaigners. but there is a particular focus here on rural birds, and that's driven by its owner. amazing. this is the surroundings of our park. 100 hectares of land. so this is your land? yes. after bringing me into the world of the singing competitions, tony shows me around his park. he is using profits from the attractions to fund an emergency response to his country's songbird conservation crisis.
3:49 am
instead of battling the bird trade, tony is taking a market friendly approach. he is working with bird owners and persuading them to lend their rare birds to special breeding programmes. the aim is to use these pets to breed more songbirds to meet the high demand. flooding the market with the captive bred birds, actually encouraging their trade, might seem unorthodox. but he says it's working. and he's now going one step further.
3:50 am
hidden away from selfie snapping visitors is a very special bird breeding programme. this is the aviary? how many in here? 11. black winged mynahs, another indonesian songbird teetering on the brink of extension. just 50 are estimated to remain in the wild. these birds were born and bred here. now they are being set free. oh, wow. so far, 15 birds have been released into what is a uniquely safe forest haven. we're still within the taman safari park, not far from where the black winged mynahs have been released from the aviary. one of them has actually made a nest, and apparently
3:51 am
there are some chicks in there. so it is making a small comeback here at taman. it's a snapshot of success, of what these forests should look and sound like. but if wild songbirds are going to return to more than just small patches of private land, the widescale trapping has to stop. so is that realistic, and can it happen in time? in this villagejust minutes from cika nanga, there are signs that a real shift is under way. this is the elementary school marching band. they are practising for a big parade. this celebration of indonesia's
3:52 am
independence, learning about multicultural history, is part of school life. but today the children are having a lesson that is brand—new to the curriculum. lessons about the environment for these children, learning about the wildlife that is, or should be, on their doorstep, is notjust a novelty. conservationists say it's vital. this is absolutely a crisis. but something we have seen while we have been here is a passion for songbirds — in some cases, an obsession with songbirds. and if that can be channelled,
3:53 am
especially with the next generation, into admiring them and protecting them in the wild, then maybe some of these very threatened birds do have a future here. if we do nothing these species are all going to go extinct within the next decade, no doubt about that. we are doing everything we possibly can to ensure that these birds are back in the wild, with safe and sustainable populations, for future generations. hello. for much of the uk the weekend got off to a fine, warm to hot start with long, sunny spells. england and wales are going to hold on to more of the same during sunday, whereas for scotland
3:54 am
and northern ireland, more clouds and some rain coming in. already on saturday this weather system showed itself in highland scotland with cloudy skies and patchy rain. sunday, it's on the move across more of scotland and northern ireland, taking some occasional rain and making it cooler than it was on saturday. high pressure holding on in england and wales, and this is where the sunshine and the very warm to hot weather will prevail for another day. this is how sunday is shaping up. very slowly, some patchy rain easing through northern ireland and scotland. i don't think much at all in eastern scotland until late in the day. for england and wales, some cloud is going to build, long sunny spells into the afternoon, and every bit as warm or hot as it was on saturday. a little cooler in scotland and northern ireland. still some spots, helped by a few sunny spells into the low 20s. for much of england and wales, we are talking mid 20s, high 20s in some spots in northern england. maybe even low 30s across the hotspots in south—east england. so it is going to be a hot one
3:55 am
at wimbledon for the men's final. could be the hottest since 1984. we expect fewer sunny skies compared to saturday. as we go through sunday evening and night, this weather system, it's taking its time but it will eventually move a bit further south and take a few showery downpours towards wales and western parts of england. as monday begins it is going to be a little cooler on sunday night in scotland and northern ireland, after a rather sultry saturday night. so this is how monday is looking. this weather system slowly moving south—east. the potential for some heavy downpours. keep your expectations in check. some spots will end up with nothing, but others could get a useful downpour. the odd showers in scotland and northern ireland. still some heat around for east anglia, the east midlands, south—east england. near 30 in the hotspots, there could be an isolated shower. as this weather system finally completes its journey east across the uk, by tuesday we are into cooler and fresh air.
3:56 am
it's not going to be cold. temperatures will still be in the high teens and low to mid—20s. it is not going to be as hot as it has been and not quite sunny. we will have a few days midweek where apart from the odd shower there will still be lots of dry weather around, some pleasant sunny spells, before potentially a wetter weather system comes in. that's your forecast. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is nkem ifejika. our top stories: president trump's collision course with protestors: more demonstrations on day three of his uk visit. he's praised the queen, describing her as an ‘incredible' woman, and said he ‘fully intends‘ to run for re—election in 2020. israel's biggest attack against hamas militants in gaza for four years, both sides are continuing to exchange fire, despite claims of a ceasefire. set to leave hospital at last, we speak to the father of one of the 12 boys rescued from a flooded thai cave. and a huge iceberg threatens a village in western greenland.
3:57 am
officials say further splits could cause a tsunami.
3:58 am
3:59 am
4:00 am

24 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on