Protection from exploitation needed for the endemic Sulawesi Bear Cuscus Ailurops ursinus in Indonesia
Illegal trade in wildlife in Indonesia is rampant, and includes many little-known species, such as the Sulawesi Bear Cuscus Ailurops ursinus. Too often the trade in less charismatic species goes unnoticed, with many being pushed towards extinction. Sadly, few, if any, effective interventions are put in place to prevent further declines. The demand for the Sulawesi Bear Cuscus
appears to be small but growing both nationally and internationally and increasingly, carried out on online platforms, making enforcement of existing policies difficult. Legal protection for Sulawesi Bear Cuscus in Indonesia is inadequate, obstructing effective enforcement efforts. Furthermore, the species is not listed in the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), making international control impossible. Here we examine the trade in Indonesia’s bear cuscus species and make recommendations for more effective prevention of illegal trade at national and international levels.