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Indonesian National Conservation Planning Workshops

Over 110 Indonesian stakeholders met to agree 10-year National Conservation Plans for four of Indonesia’s most threatened species. These species are the Anoas, two species of dwarf buffalo; the Babirusa, a wild pig; and the Banteng, a wild cattle species.

All four species are threatened with extinction according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2008. Poaching and habitat destruction and degradation are amongst the major threats facing these species. Also The Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, Indonesia, has identified these species as high priorities for species conservation, due to their threatened status.

Two workshops were successfully held. For the Anoas and Babirusa, endemic to Sulawesi Island in eastern Indonesia, the workshop was held in the Island’s northern city of Manado on the 5-6th May. While the Banteng workshop was held on the 11-12th May in Bogor, Java, as this species is found in isolated populations on Java and Kalimantan. These National workshops are a continuation of the Regional Strategic Planning for wild cattle and buffaloes of South-east Asia, begun at a workshop in June 2008.

These species act as important flagships for their respective Islands. Additionally, they play a vital role in their natural environment by helping to maintain habitat diversity through grazing. They also represent a major reservoir of genetic material that could help scientists safeguard and improve domestic cattle breeds throughout the world. This is best represented by the Banteng, which has a domesticated form – the Bali cattle - that is now widely used for meat and milk production across Indonesia and other south-east Asian countries.

Representatives at the workshops comprised government officials from provincial and national Forestry departments, local and international NGO staff, Indonesian zoo staff and academics. The workshops were hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and the IUCN/SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group. The two workshops were sponsored by Leipzig Zoo, Chester Zoo, Centre for Conservation of Tropical Ungulates, Los Angeles City Zoo, Opel Zoo, Stuttgart Zoo, Houston Zoo, Audubon Zoo, the University of Edinburgh, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Earthwatch Institute.

Amongst the outcomes from the meeting were 10-year National Conservation Plans for: 1) Anoa, 2) Babirusa. Much needed information on distribution of these species was provided by attendees and will be collated onto maps as part of the Action Plans. The launch and implemented in these Action Plans will begin in 2010 facilitated by The Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, in collaboration with the Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group, NGOs and zoos.