• Date:
    30 Apr 2020
  • Author:

Biodiversity is a treasure that needs to be preserved and protected, and increasingly recognized how crucial it is for human life. Biodiversity contributes a lot to the sustainability of human life, one of which is primates.


KEHATI Foundation’s Education and Outreach Staff, Ahmad Baihaqi, explained that January 30, 2001, was designated as Indonesian Primate Day, this is because the primate hunting trend has increased over the last 5 years. This fact is proven by the increasingly widespread hunting activities carried out by the community as an alternative hobby, and also the many photographs related to primate hunting circulating on social media.


“If you do not know them, you will not love them, and if you don’t love them you will not care about them. We are introducing Indonesian primates to elementary school children of Citra Alam School (SCA) and Pelangi Alexandria Kindergarten,” said Abay, Ahmad Baihaqi’s nickname who is also a student of Biology Masters Program, Postgraduate School, National University, Jakarta.


The education and socialization about primates in Indonesia was held on Wednesday (24/1) at SCA Elementary School students and on Friday (1/26) at Pelangi Alexandria Kindergarten students.


“Primates are an important component in maintaining the balance of the forest ecosystem, their main function being a seed disperser. However, the conversion of forested areas into agricultural and residential areas causes the loss of some natural habitats which threatens the preservation of primate populations. ” Said Muhammad Khoir, one of the educators at SCA who is also a member of the Biodiversity Warriors (BW).


At the present, more than 70% of Indonesia’s primates are threatened with extinction due to land conversion and hunting. Whereas people used to hunt to make ends meet, nowadays most people hunt primates for pleasure and these primates are considered pests.


“If we make primates as pets, we can get hepatitis (A, B, C), tuberculosis, herpes, malaria, typhus, intestinal worms or vice versa,” Khoir added.


Indeka Darma Putra, a BW member who is also one of the educators at Pelangi Alexandria Kindergarten, revealed several endangered primate species currently living in fragmented forest habitats. Direct forest degradation and fragmentation causes habitat isolation, decreases in the carrying capacity of nature and increases edge effects as a result of the widening open borders of forests. Such conditions greatly threaten the preservation of primate populations and other wildlife.


“We welcome this education and outreach activity. We hope this activity can provide an understanding from an early age about primates in Indonesia, “said Nur Hasanah, one of Pelangi Alexandria Kindergarten teachers.


Educational activities on the introduction and preservation of Indonesian primates held at SD SCA and Pelangi Alexandria Kindergarten were held in collaboration with KEHATI Foundation’s Biodiversity Warriors, “LUTUNG” Primate Study Forum, Faculty of Biology, National University, Biology Masters Program, Postgraduate School, National University, and Profauna.


In its activities, there are film screenings about orangutan habitat and threats. They also affirmed the Primate Stop Hunting and Stop Buying Primates.