Our Besikalung Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for endangered birds and animals within the forest, on the slopes of Mt Batukaru in central Bali.
All over Indonesia birds and animals are under threat from poachers and illegal wildlife traders – the country has the world’s second-highest number of threatened birds.
Our sanctuary, which is home to Leaf monkeys, macaques, and birds, takes in part of Bali’s largest remaining forest, and spans an area covering 5km in radius from the island’s famous Besikalung Temple.
Teaming up with the local community
We established the sanctuary in early 2011, after a request from local community groups who had heard about our work to save the Bali starling, one of world’s most endangered birds, and our Bali Bird Sanctuary on Nusa Penida.
Five nearby villages and nine cooperative farmers’ groups have joined the project, and introduced traditional regulations ensuring the safety of wildlife within this protected zone. It is first wildlife sanctuary in Bali instigated by private enterprise.
We have released dozens of birds into the sanctuary including white vented mynahs and Peaceful doves, we have planted trees, and are monitoring the condition of the forest – which borders UNESCO World Heritage protected rice terraces.
A sanctuary for the future
Soon we will be starting work with UNESCO on a project to protect the subak – the 1,000 year old traditional farming and irrigation system, which is the engine room behind these picture-postcard rice terraces.
Meanwhile, we also currently run programs teaching the local community about conservation issues, organize visits to the sanctuary for school students, and are setting up an information centre for the public.
We hope community support for the sanctuary, which is relatively new, will grow and we can expand its boundaries to cover a larger area. Eventually we hope the entire province of Bali can be declared a sanctuary for Indonesia’s birds and animals.