Rainforest Trust’s local partner WCS-Indonesia recently purchased an additional 72 acres to protect the nesting sites and coastal habitat for the iconic and Endangered Maleo on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island. This additional land purchase brings the total protected area size to 388 acres and is another step toward creating a planned 47,328-acre protected area of nesting sites, coastal habitat, forest conservation area and agroforestry buffer zone.
Indonesia’s Sulawesi island contains a mix of biodiversity from Australia and Asia as well as its own completely unique species, including the Endangered Maleo. As one of Asia’s most iconic birds, the Maleo builds mounds to incubate its eggs through volcanic and solar-heated sand in large colonial nesting grounds, a natural spectacle that leaves the eggs exceptionally vulnerable to harvesting. While not breeding in their localized colonies, Maleos reside in lowland rainforest foothills, making deforestation an additional threat facing the endemic species. With a nearly 90 percent decline in population size since 1950, it is estimated that fewer than 5,000 of these birds remain in the wild.
Thanks to our many generous friends around the world and the SAVES Challenge, this project is a success. A special thank you to Luanne Lemmer and Rainforest Trust Vice Chair Dr. Eric Veach, Chris Otahal, Charles and Jacqueline Probst, John and Fleur Rilett, Dr. Urs-Peter Stäuble and Lawrence Thompson for their leadership support.
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