Project Update 2023: a better hope for the wildlife of Malenge Island
Drone for fighting the loggers and reef bombers
Concerned about my safety, Dr. Jane Goodall got me connected to Andrea Crosta, the founder and executive director of the Earth League International
(www.EarthLeagueInternational.org). Andrea generously sent me some money for buying a drone and I am very grateful to both of them because the drone would help me in the battle against the loggers and reef bombers without risking my life too much—they would still know that it is I who send the drone recording their destructive act.
Coco the babirusa
Coco is still with us but Chocho has disappeared. I suspect he was killed by the dog of our neighbor who had neglected it. Another male babirusa, we named him Baru (meaning “New”), came but only twice and so did the females and young babirusas. This fact shows that Coco is a special babirusa that has been habituated to us and our neighbors and tourists—they visited our bay just for meeting with Coco, who has been in Mongabay News and YouTube. He is the only tame wild babirusa in the world but still living free between the jungle and our home.
The Hanoman troop
For over eight years we didn’t see macaques in close distance and longer than three minutes. They are so afraid of human beings, who have killed their folks for picking up a few coconuts.
By accident we noticed that they took and ate split old coconuts that Coco didn’t finish. We thought that they only liked very young coconuts, but it turns out that they don’t eat old coconut because they cannot peel and crack it.
For about a year we have started feeding the macaques with split old coconuts—free because we have 50 coconut trees in our yard—bananas, papayas and durians—all bought from the villagers or even from the market in Ampana harbor town (100 km away in the mainland of Sulawesi). Our aim, in addition to enjoy seeing them nearby, is to reduce their risk of being
killed by the owners of coconut groves. For this aim, we will plant the Matahari Wildlife Sanctuary with many fruit trees they love. But we still lack of funding to do it.
Although slowly, our efforts to save the wildlife of Malenge Island seem promising. Thanks to Nat Cohen, Noel Rowe (the Primate Conservation Inc.), Jane Goodall, and Andrea Crosta who have supported us consistently over years. Now Christopel Paino from the Mongabay News has
joined these supporters. He is special because very very few Indonesians are interested in the field conservation—most just have a job in foreign conservation organizations.