The Kukang Rescue Program

Illegal wildlife trade poses a serious threat to species’ survival worldwide. Although it is widespread in Indonesia, its reduction is being obstructed by weak law enforcement. Among the most commonly trafficked mammal species in Indonesia is the greater slow loris (Nycticebus coucang). Despite being protected both nationally and internationally, it is being sold mainly as a “pet”. Indonesian foundation called “Yayasan Peduli Kelestarian Satwa Liar (Wildlife Preservation Foundation)” leads “The Kukang Rescue Program” which was established near Medan, the Sumatra’s capital city and a frequent transit point for wildlife trafficking, as a response to the alarming situation of the illegal trade in slow lorises. The main aim of The Kukang Rescue Program is to reduce illegal wildlife trade, particularly in this protected prosimian species. To enable it, the program cooperates with local government agencies on wildlife protection and operates a rescue and rehabilitation center for confiscated animals. The absence of such a facility usually represents a great obstacle for competent authorities in confiscating illegally kept animals. Furthermore, the program focuses on education, awareness-raising, community engagement activities, and capacity building. The Kukang Rescue Program is supported by several EAZA zoos and is managed by a group of Czechs in Indonesia together with Indonesians. The program has also gained the support of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) as well as the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).

Helping Kalaweit to protect gibbons and their habitat in Indonesia.

Kalaweit is a long term and in situ program involved in Gibbons safeguarding on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra (Indonesia). Gibbons are listed under CITES Appendix I and belongs to Apes family (Lower Apes). They are highly endangered because of the destruction of their habitat. In Indonesia forests are destroyed to plant palm oil trees, making impossible for the wildlife to survive especially for tree species like Gibbons. It is an emergency situation as the deforestation is extremely fast. It has increased the illegal wildlife trade and many baby Gibbons are sold as pet on local markets. Kalaweit rescues Gibbons (and other species) from captivity where they are frequently neglected and provide the ones that cannot return to the wild a home, as close as possible to their natural environment, where they can stay. Most of them will never return to the wild for various reasons (disabled, sick, impregnated..). Over 340 Gibbons are sheltered in our 2 centers of Borneo and Sumatra, and to feed them we buy 5 tons of food every week from villagers. We also launched the radio Kalaweit FM, whose programs entertain and educate the population about the protection of nature. We also offer a secure habitat to wild Gibbons with the purchase of forests. We have created 3 reserves for a total of 600 acres (April 2018). We monitor them with equestrian and aerial patrols. Camera traps allows us to identify the species presents in our reserves. For the past years we have released several Siamang families in the wild with success. To ensure all these activities we hire 70 Indonesian employees that come from local communities. For 20 years Kalaweit has been working hard to help Gibbons, and has created close ties with the local people who support us.

Community-based Patrols and Nest Guardians to Combat Poaching of the Critically Endangered Helmeted Hornbill in Indonesia

The Helmeted Hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil) inhabits lowland and upland rainforests in Southeast Asia. Recent data has shown that the Helmeted Hornbill red ivory in China is nearly five times that of elephant ivory. From 2012 to 2014 over 1,000 casks were confiscated by the Indonesian government, and in 2013 one study estimated nearly 500 adult Helmeted Hornbills were killed per month (6,000 per year) in the West Kalimantan province alone. The evolutionary circumstances of this species cause it to be at high risk for extinction as this species breeds slowly and exists at extremely low carrying capacities. In West Kalimantan, Indonesia the Helmeted Hornbill is the provincial symbol and can be found at tourist attractions throughout the province. Despite the appearance of “local pride” in this species, this province has been the target of the trade in Indonesia with an estimated 80% of casks exported from Indonesia originating from Western Borneo. The purpose of this project is to counter wildlife trafficking in West Kalimantan, Indonesia by increasing protection of habitat and increasing law enforcement to conserve the symbol of West Kalimantan. This project is intended to conserve the Helmeted Hornbill by addressing the impacts of the yellow and red ivory trade that is decimating populations throughout the species range. Specific activities focus engaging communities in the Gunung Nuit Nature Reserve in community-based SMART patrol units and a Nest Guardians program.

Borneo Nature Foundation: Protecting Borneo’s Biodiversity

Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF, previously the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop)) works to protect some of the most important areas of tropical rainforest in Borneo, including the peat swamps of Sabangau, home to the world’s largest orangutan population. We monitor the behavioural ecology of the forest’s flagship ape and cat species, carry out biodiversity and forestry research, and work with our local partners to develop conservation solutions and improve capacity for conservation in the region. BNF’s biodiversity monitoring research is leading the field in tropical forest biodiversity studies in Kalimantan. Our records stretch back from 1995 and cover almost all major animal groups (from mammals, birds and reptiles, to butterflies and ants), representing the most extensive dataset available for Kalimantan’s peat-swamp forest. Following the devastating forest fires which engulfed Borneo and Sumatra in 2015, combined with ongoing habitat degradation and hunting has resulted in the Bornean orangutan has been up listed to Critically Endangered. BNF is working to understand Asian ape population dynamics, to protect and restore critical habitat and work to raise awareness in Indonesia and around the world.

Pangolins, in general, face threats due to illegal hunting and wildlife trade as their meat is sought after, and their scales are valued for medicinal purposes. Pangolins confiscated within Indonesia are often already dead but any live animals are often inappropriately released into the wild, or are sold back into the trade. While the current population status of the pangolin is unknown, the scale of pangolin trade represents a major conservation risk for the animal.

BNF works to raise awareness in Indonesian Borneo as well as contributing data to understand the trade routes and population status of this elusive species.BNF has a focus on communities, conservation and appplied research on flagship species inclding orangutans, gibbons, red langurs, clouded leopards, bay cats, sun bears, pangolins and other biodiversity.

Green Gospel: faith and the conservation of the Critically Endangered Macaca nigra

Selamatkan Yaki is a research, conservation and education programme focussed on protecting the last remaining populations of Sulawesi crested black macaques (Macaca nigra).
Following recommendations from stakeholder workshops in key areas for M. nigra conservation, we developed a Local Ambassador Programme to build capacity for conservation in North Sulawesi, a pre-dominantly Christian province where religion plays an important role in people’s lives. Previous research identified that bushmeat trade generally peaks around Christian celebrations (Lee, et al. 2005), and that belief is a key attribute for fostering proenvironmental behaviour. We adapted Stone’s (1997) 2-step training approach for our focus on empowering influential religious leaders and students through our Green Gospel project. Through participatory workshops we provide conservation materials and education resources developed by the SY team, such as the Sunday School syllabus and resource book, and inspirational videos. The workshops aim to: 1) identify connections between Christianity and conservation, 2) develop conservation materials for church implementation, and 3) initiate collaboration between conservation projects and churches.
Our team also facilitate participants in group discussions to identify environmental issues in and around their congregations and brainstorm about how to mitigate these issues by linking conservation activities to suitable Bible verses and messages. In line with both our Green Gospel project and Local Ambassador programme, within the next year we aim to expand our outreach to Christian universities, to engage with young trainee religious leaders and promote them as ‘Green Gospel Pioneers’.
With support through LINCZ our local team will be empowered to strengthen relationships with church leaders as well as Christian-based universities for further implementation of the Green Gospel project. We will expand the local ambassador program to church youth forums, promote the inspiring ‘Green Gospel Pioneers’ and implement our unique interactive Sunday School church syllabus.

To protect the unique Sungai Wain Forest and its rich lowland biodiversity from fires, encroachment, and poaching by enabling community forest ranger patrolling, East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo

This project is focused on management and protection of the Sungai Wain Protection Forest (SWPF) in East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. This is a relatively small (ca 10,000 ha) but vitally important forest area as it supplies about 25% of the freshwater needs of Balikpapan [ca 700.000 inhabitants, the 4th largest city on Borneo), including all fresh water for the Pertamina oil refinery. It is currently the last example of primary lowland rainforest in the wider area. Sungai Wain is home most Bornean lowland rainforest species, including many endemics (all 5 of Borneo\’s cat species, including the endemic Bay Cat; all 8 hornbill species, including the Critically Endangered Helmeted Hornbill; 9 primate species including a population of orangutans reintroduced in the 1990\’s and viable populations of 4 endemic primate species [Proboscis monkeys, Mueller\’s Gibbons, Red leaf monkeys, White-fronted leaf monkey; Sun bears [the first ever wild population that was studied]; rare endemic birds such as the Bornean ground cuckoo and Peacock pheasant). In addition, more than 30 tree species found in this lowland forest are listed as Critically Endangered. Recently 1,385 ha of forest in an adjacent watershed was added as an extension to the SWPF and one of our aims is to further expand the protected area network to reconnect SWPF to other forest patches through corridor development.
Threats to the SWPF primarily consist of forest fires during periods of drought, encroachment and deforestation by immigrants and increased poaching pressure of mammals and birds. Pro Natura focuses on strengthening management of this unique lowland forest through 3 key components: protecting the forest and its fauna from poaching, logging, encroachment and prevention of forest fires through active community patrols; monitoring health of key species populations and regeneration of burned over forest; raising conservation support through awareness and education.