Sulawesi’s endemic Maleo bird – well-known and iconic in Sulawesi but found nowhere else in the world – has been fully protected under Indonesian law since 1972, when it was formally recognized that the birds were threatened due to overharvesting of their enormous eggs as well as the loss and fragmentation of their native forest habitat. Laws protecting Maleos, however, have rarely been enforced and numbers continue to decrease. In many places numbers have declined by more than 90% since 1950.
Mitigating the threat of overharvesting, as well as protecting remaining active nesting grounds – particularly those with intact connectivity to natural forests – is therefore, of critical importance.
In addition, the Maleo’s natural forest habitat is being steadily lost and fragmented throughout Sulawesi due to logging, conversion to agriculture, as well as other larger and smaller scale anthropogenic threats.