On the morning of Sunday the 19th of October 2014 we kept encountering red feathers along the shore. As we approached the riverside, we found even more... It was a sad sight... Poachers know full well it is illegal to hunt the scarlet ibis, which is why they pluck the birds (and most likely chop off the heads, too).

For several weeks we had heard rumours about poachers killing large numbers of scarlet ibis in the Suriname River estuary. The birds are smuggled to Paramaribo under layers of ice in fishing boats. In the city they are sold at the Central Market for Srd 35,00 apiece. When we saw these feathers, it was the first time we saw physical evidence to back up the rumours, so we notified the Nature Conservation Division.

The scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber) has been internationally protected since 1986. This beautiful red bird is found only on the coasts of Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil.