Expanding a Network of Strategic Protected Areas Across West Java
Every $1 you donate today to save habitat in West Java will be matched with $1 through our SAVES Challenge. Your gift will have TWO times the impact!
Critically Endangered Javan Green Magpie. Photo by Andrew Owen.
The montane tropical rainforests of West Java are home to a large number of endemic species that are threatened by rapid habitat loss and human exploitation. These species include the Endangered Javan Gibbon and Javan Hawk-eagle, both of which are protected by Indonesian Law. Two species in particular, the Critically Endangered Javan Green Magpie and Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush, were historically known from at least nine mountains, but now are nearly extinct in the wild, due to intense pressure from trapping for the live bird trade. These birds are being bred in captivity in hopes that one day they may be reintroduced to a suitable, well-protected habitat.
Rainforest Trust seeks $758,427 to help our local partner Burung Indonesia identify and create two new protected areas in West and Central Java. Our partner will work with local communities, government authorities, universities and international nongovernmental organizations to perform systematic biological surveys in 20 montane forests to select two priority sites for designation as new protected areas or for extensions of existing protected areas.
Critically Endangered Fire Toad. Photo by Tom Kirschey.
Within the targeted areas, at least 18 threatened species of vertebrates are known, with five listed as critically endangered, five endangered and eight vulnerable, with all but two of these species (Leopard and Dhole) endemic to Java. The Java and Bali forest is an Endemic Bird Area with over 30 bird species known only to live in this one forest. This area also has a high number of endemic primates such as the Critically Endangered Javan Slow Loris, as well as the Endangered Javan Leaf Monkey and Javan Gibbon. The hill and montane forests of Java have been largely overlooked as conservation targets. Apart from the establishment of a few national parks, little has been done to secure these areas rich with biodiversity, and consequently virtually nothing is known about their conservation status or potential. With funding from this project, our partner will be able to conduct biological surveys to analyze biological importance and habitat extent and quality in order to prioritize and establish new protected areas.
Bird trappers camp in Java 2014. Photo by Andrew Owen.
Java’s hill and montane forests have been greatly neglected. Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis shows that in the last 25 years 30 percent of total forest cover has been lost in the 17 forests that were studied. Although the national parks in the area are well managed, local communities’ rising demands for forest products and agricultural land threaten forest areas. The urgency of creating high-quality government protected areas has been recently emphasized by a new presidential decree that promotes greater food security through agrarian land reform, even at the expense of forested areas.
Ghozie and Kids. Photo by Andrew Owen.
During the surveys, our local partner will work in full collaboration with local communities and other stakeholders to ensure community livelihood interests are considered. A key component of the project will be to search for species-rich forested areas with low levels of community dependence. Whenever the project identifies these unique habitats as targets for further interventions (e.g. upgrading their protection status), consent from the local communities will be sought through free and prior consultation, with particular emphasis on community access to resources within the target areas.
Captive breeding of a female Critically Endangered Javan Green Magpie. Photo by Andrew Owen.
Rainforest Trust and our local partner seek $758,427 to perform systematic biological and socio-economic surveys of the 20 montane forests to identify two priority sites and establish new protected areas. The two sites that are likely to be protected are Gunung Gede and Gunung Patuha. Our partner will work with local communities and other stakeholders to verify land tenures and propose boundaries and management regimes for the new protected areas. These areas will likely be established via different methods. The two-fold plan includes identifying and substantially expanding an existing protected area into significant, forested areas that are currently without formal protection, as well as upgrading an area that is currently within “Protection Forest” status to the more stringent “Strict Nature Reserve” status.
Our local partner will support the Indonesian government by providing guidance on the creation of management plans, formulating monitoring and analysis protocols for key species and training of protected area staff in GIS, monitoring and reporting. They will also assist with training for patrols and help with infrastructure such as signboards, gates and boundary posts, as well as the provision of equipment.