1st Quarter Report – Year 2009
Nusa Penida (Bali) & Kalimantan (Borneo)
Wildlife Protection, Habitat Restoration & Community Wellbeing
NUSA PENIDA BIRD SANCTUARY
· Post-release Bird Monitoring
· Conservation Education
· Land Rehabilitation
· Tree Planting at Julingan, Tanglad Village
· Trees for the People
· Bamboo Planting
· ‘Seeds For Bali’ at Puncak Temu & Adegan (Ped)
· Batik & Natural Dye Course
TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK – CENTRAL KALIMANTAN
· Habitat Reforestation & Forest Protection
· Supporting Activities
NUSA PENIDA BIRD SANCTUARY
Post-release Bird Monitoring
The bird release and protection programme enters its sixth year and is well-received by the people of Nusa Penida, given their enthusiasm and commitment for FNPF’s land rehabilitation and reforestation programme.
The goal of the observations of the Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), done in co-operation with the Begawan Foundation, was to establish how far this bird had spread around Nusa Penida and to monitor its breeding in the wild. In January two chicks were hatched in an area around the FNPF office at Ped. In February seven chicks were hatched; six around Ped on the north coast and one at the village of Saren in the southwest of Nusa Penida. No chick hatchings were recorded in March. With nine chicks being hatched in the wild, the total number of Bali Starling chicks hatched in the wild, since the inception of the programme in 2006, is 58. In the first quarter of 2009, three chicks hatched in the wild have been found dead, probably because these chicks were either attacked by cats, or had left their nests prematurely and consequently died of starvation. This brings the total number of reported dead Starlings hatched in the wild to eight. It is thought that the main cause of death is predators such as snakes, cats etc.
Two Mitchell’s Lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus mitchellii) that were released on 11 April 2008 by Wayan Candra, the Regent of Klungkung, could be observed and easily monitored around their release cages at Ped since this is their apparent chosen habitat for the moment. They flock together with two Red Lories (Eos bornea) that were released on Nusa Penida by people from outside the island.
Up to the moment of writing, there is no news on the fate of the Lesser Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea parvula) released on 15 December last year. Given the fact that the local population fully supports FNPF’s efforts in restoring the cockatoo population on the island, it is assumed that this bird fell victim to a predator, such as a snake, monitor lizard or cat.
On 19 February 2009 three Moustached Parakeets (Psittacula alexandri), donated by PT. Anak Burung Tropicana, were released in the surroundings of the FNPF office at Bodong, near the village of Ped. It was a “soft release” which means the birds were still given enough food in the vicinity of their release where other Parakeets were still kept in captivity. After three days, two of them (a couple) were no longer seen at the release sight. The third bird was still regularly observed near the release cage. By the end of March those two birds were not observed at Ped, and the FNPF staff together with the local population are trying to find out where they have moved. The birds are predominantly green, which makes observations between the dense foliage of the trees rather difficult.
On 10 and 11 January a camping trip to Penida Beach on the west coast of the island was organised by one of the high schools (SISPALA SMUN 1 Nusa Penida). Three FNPF volunteer teachers participated in various conservation education activities during the trip. Apart from various educational discussions, a crash course on survival in the wild and a first aid course were given. The camping trip ended with communal work around Pura Dalem Penida.
Commercial planting was welcomed once again, particularly given the rainfall in most parts of Nusa Penida. Around 17,399 seedlings of 18 species are being prepared to be distributed, amongst which Big Leaf Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), Gamhar (Gmelina arborea), Silk tree (Albizia chinensis), Strawberry tree (Muntingea calabura), Monkey Pod (Albizia saman), Kassod tree (Cassia siamea) and others. These seedling trees are planted for two reasons. First of all, there will be an economic benefit for the local population. Mahogany trees, Silk trees and Kassod trees for instance, are used because of the quality of their wood. The leaves of the Gamhar are used as cattle food and its wood is used for construction material. Secondly, these trees will, after some time, provide shade, food and nesting sites for the birds and other animals.
Tree Planting at Julingan, Tanglad Village
As a follow-up to the National Tree Planting Day on 28 November 2008 at which occasion 7,860 forest trees were planted, the FNPF has facilitated the planting of another 4,140 forest seedlings and 1,700 bamboo seedlings. The planting of these tree species was sponsored by PT. Warisan for three hectares of land, by PT. Pertamina on ten hectares of land, and by PT Karya Tangan Indah on another ten hectares of land. Other sponsors include the Hotel Maya Ubud and W-Gallery Art for Conservation Ubud.
However, the results of these efforts have not yielded maximum results due to a number of unexpected factors. The main unpredictable factor is the absence of rainfall during the immediate ten days which followed the planting. Julingan suffered from particularly strong winds during the months of January and February, and a number of seedlings such as the Strawberry tree (Muntingea calabura) suffered from termite pests.
In order to prevent these seedlings from dying as a result of the continuous heat which started in March this year, various measures have been taken such as watering the plants, loosening of the soil around the trees and administering of mulch. Up till the moment of writing this report, no pesticides have been used to combat the termites. At the end of March there were still 9,703 seedlings alive, which means that around 73% of the seedlings planted have managed to hold out. The planting techniques for the next round of planting seedlings will have to be reviewed in order for the success rate to be higher. The FNPF is constantly monitoring the success of this project.
Trees for the People
A further 10,189 seedling trees were donated, consisting of 14 species, such as Big Leaf Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), Gamhar (Gmelina arborea), Silk tree (Albizia chinensis), Strawberry tree (Muntigea calabura), Monkey Pod (Albizia saman), Kassod tree (Cassia siamea) and others.
On 21 February 2009 the FNPF participated in planting trees at Pura Andakasa during a Hindu ritual called Tumpek Wariga/Bubuh in which the flora is given special attention. Around 400 trees were donated, amongst which Sandalwood (Santalum album), Majegau/Garu (Disoxylum densiflorum), Kayu Sulaiman, Kepundung (Adropogon nardus) and others. 200 bamboo seedlings were donated by PT Karya Tangan Indah. The religious leaders of the Pura Angkasa showed interest in a follow-up to FNPF’s planting activities, especially where bamboo is concerned.
Given the fact that in a number of places on Nusa Penida there is still rainfall, about 3,150 bamboo seedlings consisting of some seven different subspecies have been distributed amongst the local population, a conservation effort 100% financially supported by PT Karya Tangan Indah. To anticipate the growing demand for bamboo seedlings on the island, the FNPF is continuously propagating the number of bamboo seedlings. By the end of March the number of seedlings at the nursery at Ped was 19,227.
‘Seeds For Bali’ at Puncak Temu & Adegan (Ped)
The programme Seeds for Bali sponsored by Bank Danamon and AMEX saw two dry monsoons go by on seven hectares of land around Puncak Temu in the heart of Nusa Penida, where the success (survival) rate was 80%. During the recent planting season 2008–2009 the programme was continued at Adegan, near the village of Ped. Around 1,500 trees were planted on three hectares. Of these, 1,403 survive today which makes for a survival rate of 91%.
Batik & Natural Dye Course
Apart from dance classes organised for children in two different localities on the island, additional activities comprise the production of batik cloth using natural dye. Volunteer Cokorda Agung Kusumayuda has been training various people in this field, including FNPF staff member Kadek Widada. He was given the opportunity to learn about the use of natural dyes at Kusumayuda’s studio Batik Warna Alam in Pejeng, mainland Bali. In February 2009 Kadek successfully finished the course. Together with FNPF field staff, he is expected to convey his knowledge in the near future to the local people under the supervision of Kusumayuda.
TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK – CENTRAL KALIMANTAN
Habitat Reforestation & Forest Protection
The FNPF Reforestation Team has started the year 2009 with a significant pilot project in a swamp area which caught fire in 2006. This project aimed at developing the reforestation methods by which the forest succession is accelerated. At the end of the wet monsoon, the reforestation team at FNPF planted 1,000 trees in an area of about two hectares around Beguruh. It is hoped that this accelerated and efficient approach can be used as a model project for the future, especially since trees were planted in an area close to other reforested plots. Various planting methods have been tried, such as translocating seedlings growing in the wild, and the use of cuttings and shoots, in order to monitor their growth and the speed of rooting. Currently, there are sixteen model (pilot) plots, each assigned for a different propagation method. Trees which are planted as part of this project are, for instance, Devil Tree (Alstonia Sp.), Puak (Baccaura rocemosa), various types of Surinam Cherries (Eugenia Sp.), Perapat tree (Combretocarpus rotundatus), Ramin tree (Gonystylus bancanus), Jelutong (Dyera costulata) and Betapai (local name).
In February 2009 Pesalat Reforestation Site was declared as the Education Centre for Tanjung Puting National Park by the park authorities (Balai Taman Nasional Tanjung Puting). Tourists and other visitors will be given the opportunity to plant trees in Pesalat and will be directed there by travel agents and guides. There are at least three designated places in Pesalat, including the Forest Rehabilitation Centre, a camping area for students and locals which can accommodate more than 100 people, Demonstration Plot for Medicinal Plants Centre and camping platforms run by Tegari Lestari tourist co-operative from Sekonyer village that can hold a maximum of eight tourists.
Basuki, who heads FNPF’s reforestation activities, was chosen unanimously by the members of a farmers’ unit in Sungai Sekonyer as the agroforestry facilitator. The Tanjung Puting National Park has donated thirty million rupiah to the farmers’ and civilians’ organisation in the village of Sei Sekonyer for these activities. The money will be used exclusively to create a large nursery which will be maintained by the organisation in accordance with traditional customs. A number of trees native or/and endemic to the national park will be grown here and the seedlings will be distributed to various projects such as GERHAN (National Reforestation Action) and tree planting projects organised by both the local and provincial administration. Another part of the seedlings will be distributed to individuals from the organisation. By the end of February, the nursery produced around 100,000 seedlings, amongst which are Devil tree (Alstonia Sp.), Agatis borneoensis and Surinam cherry (Eugenia Sp.). All of these seedlings are the result of the effective work, close co-operation, and watchful eyes of the members of the organisation.
Two volunteers from Gunung Kidul in Central Java, Lek Marno and Aprianto, participate in this project in order to motivate the villagers and farmers in Jerumbun Agroforestry Project. They do exemplary work and show how key elements of the Forest Farming programme can be put into practice in order for the families to reach a higher degree of independence. Lek Marno and Aprianto are now working independently as farmers in Jerumbun. The results of this approach have been significant. Suryan, one of our reforestation staff, has become financially independent from FNPF beginning in March. He is working with much dedication on this programme because he is making a living from his business. Every day he sells around ten kilos of hot peppers from his own farm at some 15,000 to 25,000 rupiah. He also sells long beans, cucumber and eggplant. And now Suryan independently takes part in FNPF’s campaign to stimulate Forest Farming around Jerumbun. He also helps out where necessary in discussions with other farmers on the programme’s technicalities.
Thanks to the support of a few of FNPF’s friends (Ross Perry, Dianne Perry, Patricia McWhirter, Patricia Corbitt, Elaine Cebuliak, Geri Roggiero, Jenny Robertson, Dorothy Rosewell and Mr. Mikee and the Youth Conservation Forum) a new boat is built to support ecotourism activities in Tanjung Puting National Park.
FNPF members have started a survey amongst the local population in Kotawaringin Barat regency to assess knowledge and skills related to nature and the surroundings within the local culture. Information will be gathered on exactly what knowledge and skills are available that derive from folk tales, legends, myths and the lessons learned from the previous generation which, of course, have a strong link with life as it was a number of decades ago. The assessment is also a way for the Youth Conservation Forum members to learn how to set up a survey, to make an inventory and to report on their activities. The villages which have already been assessed are Kubu, Sungai Bakau, Teluk Bogam and Pasir Panjang, where both coastal Malay and Dayaks live. So far we have identified the tale of the dugong, the tale of friendship between crocodiles and humans, and a number of ancient tales like the ‘prohibitions’ such as eating young bamboo shoots, digging the earth without a specific purpose etc. All of this information will be compiled as a reference for conservation campaigns in the future.
FNPF have started a number of activities to tackle the levels of pollution of the Sekonyer river. The mercury pollution is caused by mining activities upstream and has been the topic of discussions with the local government during a forum meeting. As a result, a team has been formed to assess how best to solve this pollution problem. Together with members from other teams formed by the Kotawaringin Barat Regency Environmental Body (Badan Lingkungan Hidup Kabupaten Kobar), FNPF will pay the cost for socialisation work and organise communal discussions in Aspai mining area.
Together with other organisations in Kotawaringin Barat regency like Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) and OF United Kingdom, FNPF are assisting The Nature Conservancy in setting up social surveys on the presence of orangutans in a number of regencies such as Kotawaringin Barat, Sukamara, Seruyan and Lamandau.