NUSA PENIDA, BALI
3rd Quarter Report – Year 2009
July – August – September
Wildlife Protection, Habitat Restoration & Community Wellbeing
1. Release & Bird Protection
FNPS’s endeavours to continue its bird release and protection programme in Nusa Penida are successful. This is most evident from the fact that many birds on the island, both endemic and non-endemic (released), can easily be ‘spotted’ and monitored.
The programme’s key activity is monitoring the birds after release. The post-release monitoring of the Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), where the FNPF and Begawan Foundation join hands, is the biggest part of these activities, but the monitoring of the Mitchell’s Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus mitchellii) and the Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri) are a part of the programme as well.
Apart from a programme directly involving the monitoring and protection of wildlife, other activities such as land rehabilitation, conservation education and empowerment of the local population are important parts of FNPF’s conservation efforts as well.
Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi)
Regular post-release monitoring and observation of the Bali Starling is done by our loyal voluntary staff in the field, with the support of the Begawan Foundation. The amount of birds in the field is based on average numbers of birds observed in a given area. Young birds in the nests are not included in this count.
In July, a newly formed pair of Bali Starlings, called ‘P7′, at Banjar Nyuh, a few kilometres from the Bali Bird Sanctuary, produced two chicks. In the months of August and September, the FNPF has not been able to identify any chicks hatched in the wild. The total number of chicks born in the wild for the period July-September 2009, therefore, is two. The Bali Starling seems to have disappeared from the area around Puncak Temu and Puncak Mundi, probably due to predation by snakes or geckos. In the area of Batumadeg, no reproduction of the Starling has been observed during the last three months. This brings the total number of Bali Starling chicks born in the wild and freely flying around in Nusa Penida at 62 since the inception of this programme in June 2006.
Mitchell’s Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus mitchellii)
Post-Release observations of this unique Lorikeet show that the birds have chosen an alternative habitat for they have rarely been observed at Banjar Bodong, the original release location around the FNPF offices. Despite the fact that the released pair (of uncertain sex) has not shown signs of reproduction, the FNPF is happy to see that the pair has chosen to move away from its release habitat and is successful at surviving in the wild in Nusa Penida. This is a sure sign that this particular bird species, and other birds like it, is able to survive on the island and more birds will be released in the future. It goes without saying that it’s the FNPF’s ardent hope the Mitchells will produce offspring in the wild. The released pair will be closely observed to determine where exactly is has chosen its new habitat. Further news on this bird is forthcoming.
Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea parvula)
The population recovery of the native cockatoo of Nusa Penida has seen some hick-ups. The FNPF doesn’t have sufficient information to plan for a breeding or release programme to support the intended population recovery of the cockatoo. Various people and a number of government institutions in the realm of nature conservation have been approached in order to obtain information regarding either privately or otherwise owned birds, but up to the moment of writing no positive feedback has been received. The FNPF feels that in order for the wild birds on Nusa Penida to reproduce, an initial breeding programme could be incepted using cockatoos from various known sources. It’s important to keep and make use of the genetic variety of the birds that are kept in captivity elsewhere in order to enhance the chances of survival of the entire population on the island. Moreover, the few cockatoos presently flying around on Nusa Penida are likely to become ‘teachers’ at the art of surviving in the wild to the future chicks born in in-situ conditions.
Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri)
The released Red-breasted Parakeets have rarely been seen around the original place of release, i.e. the Bali Bird Sanctuary at Ped, Nusa Penida. The only bird that every now and again has shown up around the offices from July-September 2009 is the bird that did not have a mate at the moment of its release. The bird is observed flying around on its own, but is difficult to spot as it’s a rather quite bird and its colours haven’t yet fully developed. In this sense, it’s a lucky bird, for it finds itself camouflaged by the lush, green vegetation and therefore lives an undisturbed life. With FNPF’s old friend still visiting the area around the sanctuary, it’s probable that the rest of the released Red-breasted Parakeets survive well elsewhere on Nusa Penida.
2. Supporting activities
Conservation education is given both inside and outside of the classroom. The new students got a chance to learn from the older and more experienced nature lovers, and together they learnt about identifying plants, bird watching, reforestation, planting of new trees and other subjects in relation to nature conservation.
From 28 to 30 August, a Nature Lovers Gathering (Temu Cinta Alam Se-Bali XVI, TCA) was held in the school yard of the State Highschool 2 (SMA Negeri 2 Semara Klungkung) in the city of Klungkung, and at Lepang Beach around 5 kilometres from the school. Youth Conservation Students from all over Bali participated in this gathering. This event is held every year and is organised by the Bali Nature Lovers Communication Forum. The objective was to discuss the action taken in relation to the protection of the environment not only in Bali, but more generally in Indonesia as well. Fifteen groups of nature lovers participated in this event, from highschools and both state and private Tertiary Educational Institutions from all over Bali.
Topics of discussion were, amongst others, the conservation of marine turtles, the planting of trees along Lepang Beach and the organisation of the Bali Nature Lovers Communication Forum (FKPA). The two days conference was concluded with discussions on who is going to be next year’s representatives for TCA.
Youth Conservation Students Dedi Ni Luh Sarino and I Kadek Maedayanti from State Highschool SMA Negeri 1 from Nusa Penida participated in the gathering, together with Highschool teacher Wayan Oka and a FNPF volunteer (veterinary surgeon) Made Widana. The FNPF financed meals for the three students from Nusa Penida.
In commemoration of national Independence Day on 17 August last, the FNPF organised an environmental quiz contest. All Nusa Penida highschools in ten teams participated in the event. The winner of the event was State Highschool 2 (SMA Negeri 2). Nusa Penida sub-district head I Made Sudiarkajaya was very enthusiastic about the contest, and he is possibly willing to stage this event next year. The FNPF hopes that not only the quiz contest but all conservation education activities will be part of the overall curriculum at schools around the island, as at this moment the FNPF is only able to organise nature conservation activities at highschool level due to insufficient funding and limited human resources.
Nature conservation activities at Tanjung Puting National Park (Kalimantan) were inserted in the standard curriculum of two highschools in 2008. The FNPF is convinced that something similar will take place in Nusa Penida. If nature conservation education is ‘upgraded’ and inserted into the mandatory regular curriculum at schools around the island, Nusa Penida will become the sub-district with the highest quality nature conservation education in Bali, and perhaps in all of Indonesia. In the long run, this will enhance Nusa Penida’s chances of becoming a place where all its inhabitants live side by side safely, an island where the living environment and the natural environment are in balance and of equal importance.
As was the case in the previous period (April-June 2009) the FNPF has focussed on increasing the number of seedlings and the care of the seedlings that are grown in the nurseries. This included covering the soil around the seedlings with a layer of plastic (mulsa) in order to reduce the level of evaporation, and watering the plants which suffered from dehydration. These activities are taken on by as many as 15–20 local inhabitants every day.
In July-September 2009, a total of 31,546 seedlings were prepared for planting, representing 19 plant species: Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), Gamhar (Gmelina arborea), Silk tree (Albizia chinensis), Strawberry tree (Muntigea calabura), Monkey Pod (Albizia saman), Kassod tree (Cassia siamea) etc. The bulk of the seedlings that the FNPF produces is destined for agroforestry, which is becoming very popular with the local population of Nusa Penida. The FNPF strives to supply as many seedlings as possible in accordance with the wishes of the people as these plant species can be used for different purposes as they survive quite well in the arid conditions on the island: it serves as cow fodder, have high economic value, and in the long run make good habitat for birds and other wildlife. The FNPF expects that agroforestry will not only contribute towards a better livelihood for the inhabitants, but that it will also be beneficial to nature.
Reforestation at Julingan, Tanglad
Land rehabilitation is a ongoing project, despite the lack of rainfall in the past period. The arid conditions cause serious problems for the seedlings that were planted in Julingan. Fortunately, the termites plague, which was a big nuisance for the seedlings there, is now under control. As a result of this, the seedlings that the FNPF keeps in its nursery are alive and kicking, ready to go to Julingan should plants out there not survive due to the draught.
Thirty hectares of land have been planted by the FNPF in co-operation with for instance the local government, the police, the army, the navy, students and citizens alike. This project was financed by three companies: Pertamina, Warisan and Karya Tangan Indah.
Pertamina has financed more than 10 hectares and has dedicated it to Bali’s fabled Winged Mascot, under the name ‘New Habitat for the Bali Starling’. On this plot of land, the FNPF has planted a large number of Singapore Cherry Trees (Muntingia calabura), of which the vast majority, 3,128 young plants, managed to survive the arid conditions. Apart from the Singapore Cherry Trees, the following trees keep up their chin in rather daunting circumstances: Adenanthera microsperma, Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina), Big Leaf Mahogany (Swietenia macropylla), Monkey Pod (Albizia saman), Kassod tree (Cassia siamea) and others.
On a plot of land of ten hectares reforested by Karya Tangan Indah, 3,719 plants and trees survive, amongst which 1,282 bamboo species like the Common Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris), Rough Giant Bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper), Gigantochloa apus and 2,437 forest trees and plants.
On a plot of land of ten hectares, three hectares were financially supported by Warisan and another part by Maya Ubud Hotel, the FNPF and a number of smaller contributors. At the moment of writing there are still approximately 2,547 plants, of which a large part forest trees.
On an area of 30 hectares which was reforested at the end of September, 9,394 trees have done well and thrive (78.28%). Amongst these are forest plants like Jambul (Zyzigium cumini), Tropical Almond (Terminalia catapa), Caqui (Manilkara kauki), Crocodile Tree (Zanthoxylum rhetsa), Neem (Azadirachta indica) and 1,282 types of bamboo. This means that during the upcoming planting season (wet monsoon), we have to replace dead plants to make sure that survival rate of plants in year II will be at least 80%.
Empowerment of the local population & Community development
The FNPF feels that the local population of Nusa Penida has done an excellent job in looking after their environment in order for the FNPF to continue the Bird Release and Protection Programme. The Empowerment & Community Development Programme is in full swing.
As far as bamboo planting is concerned, during the months of July-September 2009, FNPF’s activities were focussed on increasing the numbers of (young) bamboo plants for the local population. It’s expected these bamboo plants will increase once they are planted on Nusa Penida. The amount of young bamboo plants by the end of September 2009 was 27,561, amongst which Rough Giant Bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper), Tropical Black Bamboo (Gigantochloa atroviolacea), Gigantochloa apus, Common Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris), Gigantochloa kurzii/apus spp., Bambusa vulgaris spp, and ‘Fishing Rod’ Bamboo. These activities are entirely sponsored by Karya Tangan Indah. The FNPF has been able to plant 14,781 bamboo plants on the island. Of this total amount, 12,213 have survived the arid conditions, which comes down to a survival rate of 82,6%. There are nine pilot projects and one water reservoir – in Nusa Penida called ‘cubang’ – at each hectare of bamboo plantation, and at each selected hectare a minimum of 400 bamboo seedlings were planted.
Seeds for Bali
The area around Puncak Mundi of over ten hectares has seen ‘the rigour’ of two dry seasons. Nonetheless, the survival rate of recently planted seedlings and trees is more than 80%. This has resulted in a wide variety of vegetation, depending on the plant species and soil fertility. On ‘critical’, i.e. rather dry and not very fertile, soil, the plants on an average have grown to abut 50 cm, whereas the plants in more favourable conditions have reached heights of around three metres. If plagues, diseases and forest fires don’t occur, the FNPF expects these plants will do fine given the fact that they have already survived two dry seasons. Moreover, with the upcoming wet monsoon 2009-2010 there is an even better chance of survival for these plants at this location.
Apart from this, there are more hopeful results. At Adegan (near the village of Ped, on the north coast), an area of more than three hectares has successfully survived one dry season and the survival rate of newly planted vegetation brings a smile to our faces. Of the 1,200 trees at the pilot project area, 1,098 have survived, which makes an excellent survival rate of 91,5%. The Seeds for Bali Programme at Adegan was financed by Pt Bank Danamon and American Express card holder. The fruitful co-operation of Bank Danamon, American Express card holder, the FNPF and the local population shows that agroforestry is indeed an attainable goal on ‘critical land’ in Nusa Penida, on the condition that – especially during the dry monsoon – every tree is taken good care of after it’s planted. The FNPF hopes that this pilot project will inspire the local population to plant trees on so-called ‘sleeping plots of land’, i.e. agricultural land fallen into disuse.