Common Effort to Protect Indonesia’s Rare Species

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Jakarta (Greeners) – Protecting wild animals and plants should be done by all parties, government, activists, NGOs, academicians, and wider public, as told by wildlife photographer Riza Marlon in Jakarta, on Wednesday (28/6) . During his experience of exploring forests to take shots of rare animals footage, Marlon said many factors which have led wildlife into Critically Endangered list by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The author of Living Treasures of Indonesia said that one of the factors was local people’s lack of education on the importance of those animals. He cited Flores hawk-eagle, an endemic to Nusa Tenggara had been hunted by humans for wrong perception as pest. Meanwhile, IUCN had listed the species into its Red List of critically and endangered animals.

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“Two years, I am looking for information on Flores hawk-eagle to be included in the book but to no avail. I finally got information that they were spotted at Kelimutu National Park,” he said. “The difficulty to find the species turn out because they were trapped by local villagers as they ate chickens. Meanwhile, IUCN reported that their number is less than 100 pairs in the wild.”

Another example, Bangai crow, Corvus enca, also listed at IUCN Red List as it is getting hard to locate them as trees where they use to nest are being chopped down by humans. The birds only nesting in specific trees as they were gone, they also disappear and hard to locate.

“The birds only nesting in one tree. If the tree felled, they would look for other save trees as needed,” he added.

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To tackle this issue, he said that awareness and education, especially knowledge on conservation must be installed to all agencies, institutions, governments and public. He said that he also play a part as mediator to spread knowledge and information on wildlife in Indonesia.

“I think conservation is common effort. Not just government’s, NGO’s, or people with concerns on environment. It means that we need to protect it together and not pointing fingers on each other,” he said. “Knowledge on endangered animals and listed in IUCN has never reached to people. So, it is our tasks together to spread that information.”

In 2016, Ministry of Environment and Forestry had declared 25 priority species after rising and concerning illegal wildlife business in the country. The animals including Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant, Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus), Sumatran rhino, Javan banteng, Javan gibbons, orangutan, and bekantan.

Reports by Denny Kosasih