Javan Slow Loris (Nycticebus javanicus)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 12254023
Slow lorises inhabit South and Southeast Asia and are globally threatened, with the Javan slow loris (Nycticebus javanicus) soon being up-listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and considered one of the Top 25 Most Endangered Primates in the World. Apart from habitat loss, trade for pets and traditional medicine is the main threat for slow lorises. In Indonesia, lorises are highly valued as pets, and wild populations are decimated for trade.
With our newly established conservation project “Little Fireface Project” (LFP) we follow an interdisciplinary approach of combining behaviour and ecology research, forest and market surveys, education and awareness on local and international levels, capacity building and communication to authorities, conservation organisations and the local, national and international public.
The field station of LFP is situated in the village Cipaganti, near Garut in West Java. We conducted interviews with local farmers and a loris ex-hunter, and did market surveys on Java’s most notorious markets. We conducted surveys at 14 protected and unprotected sites throughout Java, recorded slow loris absence/presence and collected environmental variables. We used computer models to determine the potential distribution of the Javan Slow Loris and to investigate habitat preferences and levels of disturbance. We captured and radio-collared 12 wild Javan slow lorises, followed them during the night and collected data of their ranging, behaviour and ecology.
We show that the threat that pet trade poses on lorises is still very serious. We revealed that the trade in slow lorises as pets is huge and reached more than 100 slow lorises during only 5 market visits in Jakarta. According to local people animals are easily caught in agriculture areas in West Java. We encountered slow lorises from the western most tip to the easternmost tip of Java. Most significantly, we found them occurring in Meru Betiri National Park, officially extending the entire geographic range of the Javan slow loris for the first time to the very dry forests of East Java. While density is low in protected areas, it is surprisingly high in unprotected farmland, especially in several regions in West Java. This result also suggests that the protected area network in Java does not seem to be effective for Javan slow lorises. Conservation projects thus have to focus on community conservation activities as the local people and farmers are the ones who are eventually the people who can save the Javan slow loris. The amount of bamboo on transects in survey areas had a significantly possitive effect on slow loris presence. Radio-collared animals spend their nights foraging and resting, but "solitary" animals can be surprisingly social. The high overlap of home ranges suggests that they live in pairs with one offspring. In Cipaganti, animals mainly feed on gum, nectar, insects and small vertebrates.
Along with the research we have on-going education and awareness activities for local people and the international audience by giving presentations, distributing awareness material, visiting schools and using social networking like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We constantly communicate results to different authorities and conservation organisations. We have trained local guides and numerous local and international students who volunteer, do internships or conduct their final university projects with LFP. In January 2013 we conducted the first Little Fireface Project Empowerment workshop focussing on slow lorises, civets and tarsiers, and held at our partner Cikananga Wildlife Center, Sukabumi. Participants included enforcement officers, rescue centres, conservation organisations and students. The workshop consisted of talks given by Indonesian and international experts and interactive learning and discussion groups. This first workshop is planned to be followed up by further workshops, the establishment of a slow loris action group and the first IUCN conservation action plan for lorises and tarsiers.
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Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Project website: www.nocturama.org
Field blog: http://www.littlefirefaceproject.blogspot.de/
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Twitter: Little Fire Face @littlefireface
YouTube channel: littlefireface
Project 12254023 location - Indonesia, Asia