Anti-Wildlife Poaching Campaign in Muara Gembong Mangroves

PROFAUNA Indonesia held a series of education activities, bringing up "Stop Poaching in Muara Gembong Mangroves" in Bekasi, West Java on Thursday (1/9). PROFAUNA's supporters took this action because they believe that this ecosystem is in danger as indicated by the declining primate population, especially the Javan Langur, in the past twenty years due to land conversion.

The activities started at SMP (Junior High School) Negeri 1 Muara Gembong, continued right away to SMP & SMA (Senior High School) Pelita Bangsa Muara Gembong, and then our supporters set up a large banner in two alleged poaching spots. They ended the day by doing some primate watching in the mangroves of Muara Bendera-Muara Gembong.

"This is our first education program at Muara Gembong, and we are planning to do this in a sustainable way based on the recent condition. Our aim is to increase the population of the Javan Langur in this ecosystem, including by habitat improvement," claimed Rinda Aunillah Sirait, the coordinator of PROFAUNA West Java Representatives.

The program was quite remarkable as it was done in marathon, despite the  poor trasportation. Our supporters had to get on a wooden canoe for about 30 minutes to get to the schools as the locations are inaccessible by cars. The feisty program caught the attention of local conservation activists, including Mpok Bekasi 2016, Siti Rohimah, who decided to join our supporters in the program.

"I set great store by PROFAUNA's action to educate people about the importance of mangrove protection, especially when it comes to this area because this is the last mangrove ecosystem remaining in Bekasi," said Siti Rohimah.

Setting Up Anti-Poaching Banners and Posters

The rate of poaching at Muara Gembong mangroves is getting more alarming each day. Local people reported that the number of wild animals in the mangroves ecosystem has been rapidly declining for the past 20 years.

"I remember when I was young, eagles soaring above our village was unremarkable. Javan Langurs were abundant at Muara Bendera, there were thousands of them but now maybe less than a hundred remain," said Yoyok, a teacher at SMP Negeri 1 Muara Gembong.

In the light of these acounts, PROFAUNA Indonesia decided to provide anti-poaching education materials at Muara Gembong. Dr. Herlina Agustin, M.T., PROFAUNA's advisory board member, took part on the installation process. She elaborate that PROFAUNA West Java Representatives is planning to make this program sustainable, by promoting habitat preservation and supporting local conservation activists.

"The condition of Muara Gembong's mangrove ecosystem needs serious attention, and there is an immediate need of wildlife study, habitat assessment, and mapping of local potentials that could be harnessed to support the ecosystem protection. From there, we can then design the best conservation strategy," added her.

PROFAUNA Indonesia set up anti poaching banners and posters around Muara Bendera and Bahagia Beach, two of the popular locations for poachers. The materials were also distributed to nearby schools, public facilities, and villages.

"We are going to help PROFAUNA distributing the posters and banners in strategic spots so that many people can read it," said Uci, a local conservation activist.

© 2003 - ProFauna Indonesia

ProFauna Indonesia is an Indonesian society for the protection of
wild animals and their habitats