Press Release

President Jokowi releases Owa Jawa into state forestry Perhutani West Java


AACC2015, Bandung, April 24, 2015 – Concurring with 60th AACC in Bandung, President Joko Widodo, accompanied by Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya and several AACC delegations released Owa Jawa into the wild in Bandung West Java. This moment was to express mutual cooperation in Asian African countries to conduct sustainable development, improvement to quality of life and respect for biodiversity as life support. Indonesia’s success story in the conservation of the Owa Jawa on the most populated island in Indonesia, was a strong commitment by Indonesia in conducting a sustainable development concept.

 

Two pairs (four individuals) of Owa Jawa were released, Robin-Moni and Moli-Nancy couples. Both couples have been living in rehabilitation for 7-11 years in Javan Gibbon Center (JGC), Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park. Prior to their release, the Owa Jawa had undergone a process of habituation for around 2.5 months in Gunung Puntang. One year ago, a family of Owa Jawa, consisting of four individuals, had been released into the same forest, which was at slot 32 of the region, Resort Pemangkuan Hutan (RPH) Banjaran, RPH Logawa and RPH Lemburawi, Bagian Kesatuan Pemangkuan Hutan (BKPH) Banjaran, Kesatuan Pemangkuan Hutan (KPH) Bandung Selatan Perhutani Jawa Barat Banten. Their condition today indicated a better adaptation ability. This positive result reflects on the successful but long process of rehabilitation at JGC, which was in cooperation with the Owa Jawa Foundation, Balai Besar Taman Nasional Gunung Gede Pangrango, Conservation International Indonesia, University of Indonesia and Silvery Gibbon Project.

 

The decrease of tropical forest areas in Java has threatened the Owa Jawa’s existence and also illegal hunting for pets. Returning the Owa Jawa into the forest in a healthy condition is one criteria for a species sustainability. Directorate General for Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (Ditjen PHKA), Ministry of Environment and Forestry had been conducting various attempts for Owa Jawa conservation. Illegal hunting should be halted and animals treated as home pets must be returned to the wild through a rehabilitation process. Those who own and trade such endangered species should voluntarily hand over the animal to the government through Balai KSDA or directly to a rehabilitation centre. Owning, nurturing, keeping or trading protected / endangered species without permission from the authorities is an act against Law Number 5 Year 1990 on Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation.

 

Siti Nurbaya said, according to the laws and regulations in Indonesia, Owa Jawa is included as a protected animal and one of 25 animals as a priority for strategic goals by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in RPJMN 2015 – 2019. The ministry aimed to improve endangered species population by 10% by site monitoring according to habitat. Experts and researchers estimate the number of Owa Jawa is less than 5,000 individuals. “We want this release to help improve the Owa Jawa population in the wild and also enhance awareness to maintain its preservation,” she said.

 

President Director for State Enterprise Perhutani Mustoha Iskandar said, Owa Jawa conservation was one effort to maintain quality of Perhutani’s protected forest region as a forest quality indicator. “On 15 June 2013, we released a couple of Owa Jawa, named Kiki and Sadewa, then on 27 March 2014, a family of 4 members, Bombom (female), Jowo (male) with their children Yani (female) and Yudi (male). On April 24 2015, for the third time, Robin-Moni and Moli-Nancy in the same region. Some regions in the protected forest are Owa Jawa habitat, thus we are committed to preserve the Owa Jawa and its habitat. Our involment is important as authorities for Gunung Puntang region but also as a strategic business model for sustainability. However, we need support and participation from the local community,” Mustoha added.

 

Chief of the Owa Jawa Foundation Noviar Andayani said, his foundation had been in cooperation with various stakeholders for the rescue and rehabilitation of Owa Jawa. JGC had just welcomed a new born female Owa Jawa on 9 February 2015 from Mel (male) and Pooh (female) which was named by President Jokowi. JGC has released 10 individuals of Owa Jawa into the habitat. “It is not an easy task to do, therefore we need partnerships and support to save these animals from extinction,” he said.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Agung Nugroho, Directorate for Biodiversity Conservation, Directorate General for Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA), Gd. Manggala Wanabakti Blok 7 Fl. 7. Telephone/Fax: 021 5720227, Email: agnugroho@gmail.com

 

John Novarly / Susetiyaningsih, Communication Bureau for State Enterprise Perhutani, Gd. Manggala Wanabakti Blok 7 Fl. 7. Telephone: 021 5721282 ext. 1027, Fax: 021 5733616 Email: humas@perhutani.co.id

 

Anton Ario, Javan Gibbon Center, Jalan Raya Bogor-Sukabumi KM.21 Cigombong Lido Bogor 16740, Phone/fax (0251) 8224963, Email: aario@conservation.org

 

Note for Editors:

 

Owa Jawa (Hylobates moloch) is a endemic primate of Java island, most of the population live in lowland and highland forests in the central area of Java. Last survey in 2010 recorded 2,140 – 5,310 Owa Jawa individuals isolated inside conservation forests and protected forests, such as Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, Gunung Halimun Salak, Ujung Kulon and Wildlife Sanctuary of Gunung Simpang and Gunung Tilu. As a primate arboreal who does all their daily activities in trees, its survival relies on high trees with connected canopy. The existence of Owa Jawa can be an indicator of a healthy and well-preserved forest. Besides, as seed dispersers, Owa Jawa is important for maintaining the forest cycle and ecosystem regeneration.

 

Owa Jawa is also a social system model which respects loyalty and mutual cooperation. Different from most primates, Owa Jawa live in monogamy mating system and in a close family unit. A family consists of a couple with 1 – 3 children, born every 2 – 3 years. It is territorial and guards its area with all means, such as female voice as morning call. As frugivora (fruit eater), Owa Jawa relies on each family member’s support in food gathering and maintaining, compared to leaf eaters. Thus illegal hunting is a great threat since one victim will cause trouble for the whole family.

 

Eventhough Owa Jawa has been protected by laws, its popuplation is decreasing because of deforestation and illegal hunting and trading for pets. In the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (World Conservation Union), Owa Jawa is in the endangered species category and included in the list of Appendix I CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).