Press Release | 06 June 2011
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ProFauna's Public Campaign Of Primate Protection in Indonesia
The Indonesian primates including apes and monkeys which have been further threatened by extinction due to the illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss have moved ProFauna Indonesia, a wildlife and forest protection organization in Indonesia, and the International Primate Protection League (IPPL) to raise awareness of the public on the protection of the animal group. On 6th June 2011, ProFauna's activists carried many posters of shape-like of primates: orangutan, gibbon, Javan langur, proboscis monkey, long-tailed monkey, slow loris, etc. On the campaign which was held on the main street of Malang City, East Java, ProFauna also handed out leaflets and stickers of primate conservation to the public.
There are more than 200 primate species in the world. 40 species or 25% of them live in Indonesia. Despite being rich of the species, 70% of Indonesian primates are threatened by extinction due to the illegal wildlife trade and the habitat loss. Among the 25 primate species of the world that have been enlisted as the most endangered species since 2000 by the IUCN including the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), Siau tarsier (Tarsius tumpara), Javan slow loris (Nycticebus javanicus), and Simakubo (Simias cocolor) from Indonesia.
According to ProFauna's record, the primates being traded are wild caught instead of captive bred. Every year, there are thousands of primate species traded for pets or the meat, like the Javan langur, long-tailed monkey, Sumatran langur, and the pig-tailed macaque. The meat of these species is traditionally believed by some people to cure asthma. Furthermore, most of the traded primates for pets are babies because they are cute and tame. When the primates get older and wilder, most owners will neglect or kill them. As the prices, the more endangered the primates are, the higher they cost. Protected species like Javan langur and slow loris are sold for 200,000 IDR or 20 USD (10,000 IDR = 1 USD) each. While the endangered ones like gibbon and orangutan can fetch to more than 1 million IDR and 2 millions IDR respectively.
Rosek Nursahid, Chairman of ProFauna Indonesia, stated, "Most of the Indonesian primates are protected by law. It is illegal to trade and keep the animals as pets. Not only is the trade crime but it also causes cruelties to the animals." According the 1990 wildlife act concerning the natural resources conservation, perpetrators of the protected wildlife are liable to five year prison term or a 100-million IDR fine.
ProFauna Indonesia together with IPPL will continue to campaign against the illegal trade and cruelty of the Indonesian primates. ProFauna keeps encouraging the public to help the organization to protect the primates by stop buying the primates. Nursahid added, "Buying is killing. If people keep buying the traded primates, more of them will be caught from the wild. Stop buying is the simple way that the public can help to protect and conserve the primates in Indonesia."