ON 12th April 2009, Gloria Seow sent in this report: “Was at East Coast Park at 7.30am near Bedok Jetty when we heard a strange call. Upon investigating, we spotted the Greater Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea apoda) (43cm) with our naked eyes and managed a few shots (left). Went back to the car to get the big camera but the bird had already flown into the grove of trees even after waiting around for it for 1/2 hr.
“We checked – its a CITES II species – meaning that one requires an export licence but no import licence. Sad that these birds can still be traded legally. Glad that it has escaped!”
Summerian Turks has this to add: “You’re so lucky to see this bird, though not at the right habitat… Yes they are classified as App II of CITES which allows trade with the issuance of permits. However the catch is, Indonesia and PNG does not allow any export of the species. They are protected by domestic law in these range countries. So legal export is impossible, technically. However over 150 individuals from the genus Paradisaea, Cicinnurus and Seleucidis have been imported here from the Solomon Islands and African countries like Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast in 2005. They were all declared as captive bred specimens. How far this is true we do not know. Its hard to imagine a war torn, famine stricken countries in Africa have the means and resources to breed these birds like bantam chickens. But they manage somehow, i guess. Wonders never cease..”