ProFauna – a non-governmental agency dedicated to the protection of wild animals – held demonstrations in front of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) on Thursday, January 30, 2014, protesting the illegal trade in primates taking place in Bali and other Indonesian locales.
The coordinator of the demonstration, Bayu Sandi, told Metrobali.com that the demonstration was timed to coincide with National Primate Day. “This is National Primate day in Indonesia. We are calling on the public to take an active role in protecting wildlife, especially primates,” said Bayu.
Bayu asked the public in Bali not to buy and sell wild primates. The Profauna activist warned: “These animal have a function in the wild. Whenever people remove them from the jungle this results in a change in the ecosystem. This will eventually affect how mankind lives as well.”
According to data provided by ProFauna, there is a high rate of trade in wild primates in Indonesia. More than 95% of the primates sold in Indonesia have been taken from the wild. ProFauna also claims that the means by which primates are captured, transported and sold are often inhumane.
“One primate being sold in great numbers is the “kukang” (Nycticebus sp or slow loris). Kukangs are sold with their teeth and nails removed.
During 2013 ProFauna recorded 40 cases of slow loris being sold on line,” Bayu reported.
In Bali during a single month, tens of primates are illegally sold. “In one month alone twenty long-tailed gray monkeys are sold or purchased. This takes place at the Satria Market in Denpasar,” he said.
ProFauna also records that in Bali the protected lutung or lurung (leaf monkeys) are still hunted.
ProFauna claims the illegal trade in primates taking place at the Satria Market in Denpasar is probably only the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of an even larger scale of illegal trade taking place on the Island as a whole. Because of this, ProFauna want the government agencies involved in conservation and animal protection to take their jobs more seriously.
According to ProFauna, of the nearly 200 species of primates existing in the wild, 40 or 25% of that total can be found in Indonesia. In the year 2000, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the 25 species of primates most in danger of extinction. From that list four were from Indonesia: the Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo Abelii), Siau Island Tarsius (Tarsius Tumpara), Javenese Sloe Loris (Nycticebus Javanicus) and Pig-tailed Langur (Simias Cocolor).
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