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Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 232531831

Local youth-based conservation: An effort to protect the endangered endemic tarsier in Banggai, Sulawesi

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 232531831) - Peleng Tarsier - Awarded $5,000 on October 16, 2023

This conservation project aims to protect one of the endangered endemic primates on Peleng and Banggai Islands by empowering local youth. This will be achieved through (1) building local community awareness and knowledge about the status and threats of the target species; (2) increasing and expanding conservation education to local schools; (3) establish a local youth communities to monitor target species and their habitat; (4) creating and implementing community-based conservation actions. Therefore, this project will contribute to protecting the species target (through education and awareness programs) by empowering the local youth.

 

Tarsius pelengensis is an endemic primate but 'Endangered' by the IUCNRed List (2023). These primates inhabit the primary and secondary lowlands and mangrove forests on Peleng Island (IUCN Red List, 2023). Their nests are more numerous in shrubs than forests and can be found at altitudes up to 937 m asl (Syahrullah, 2018). The population density and encounter rate are greatest at an altitude of 400-600 m asl in secondary forests, which is influenced by vegetation conditions, food availability, disturbance and predators (Syahrullah, 2018). However, their habitat is now decreasing due to continued land clearing, whereby around 5,000 ha of land cover is lost every year. In addition, landfills and land clearing for plantations resulted in their numbers at an altitude of 0-400 m asl not as much as those at an altitude of 400-600m asl. With the shrinking of natural habitats and decreasing population, an effort to protect them is urgently needed.

 

We chose the villages of Baka, Patukuki, Komba-komba, Tatendeng, and Leme-leme Darat to collect data and carry out a conservation campaign through education. The location was determined based on representatives of the Peleng area spread across Tinangkung, Central Peleng, and Buko sub-districts. In educational activities, we involve local youth in observation activities in the field, as well as carrying out 'target species introduction' to children at junior and senior high schools.

 

Based on the activities of this project, it was found that observations and conservation campaigns regarding Tarsius pelengensis still need to be carried out. The small number of individuals observed at each location may indicate that this species experiencing the population decline. Moreover, there is still the lack of knowledge and awareness of local youth regarding Lakasinding and its threats on this island. Therefore, we hope that this activity will continue to be carried out through collaboration with the local government, local youth, or other conservation institutions. 



Project 232531831 location - Indonesia, Asia