Tag Archives: birds


Indonesian Bird Watchers Gathering : diversified conservation added value of Javan gibbon habitat

By Arif Setiawan

bird friendly commodities, Durian in Mendolo

Mendolo is one of the villages that harbour unprotected gibbon population and habitat in central java. The last two years we working with the  youth farmers association (PPM Mendolo) to enhance protection of wildlife and habitat in surrounding the village. Birds become more enthusiastic where they have great fans and crazy birders. This reason we encourage to promote bird watching and bird photography as one of the nature tourism attractions that corresponds to the habitat protection that will secure gibbon populations.

The PPM Mendolo in collaboration with Swaraowa  just finished organizing national gathering for Indonesia birdwatchers. The event was held on January 19-21 2024, with two main event i.e symposium on first day  attended about 90 participants and guest speakers who talk about illegal bird trade and conservation captive breeding on some critically endangered species of Java, then next two days the activities were conducted in Mendolo villages. All participants are stayed and enjoy birds in Mendolo village-forest.

In this event we promotes Mendolo as alternative nature special tourism interest for wildlife enthusiast and promoting durian as agro-forest commodities as well. Durian trees that cultivated since long time ago, has provide special habitat for the birds and other wildlife including all Javanese primates.  This kind of habitat that could be potentially to help farmers with commodities and protecting animals through nature observation as well.

The arrival of guests with the specific aim of seeing wild birds became a special motivation for the residents, because not many people knew about their village and many of the birds were initially caught and kept, but apparently there were people who were interested in enjoying them in the wild.

Combining wildlife and commodities as nature potency for the village asset could be solutions for protection of gibbons in this area, where people get economic benefits through their agro-forest farming that provide wildlife corridors among fragmented habitats. This approach will continue to be developed in this region considering the biodiversity that still exists as a representative of lowland forests in the central part of Java Island.

Read here,  swaraowa’s team report on the 11th Gathering of Indonesian Birdwatchers in Mendolo.



Citizen scientists seeking the Javan Blue-banded kingfisher

Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher by Siswanto, 2022

More than 50 people are involved in our ongoing survey of the Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher (Alcedo euryzona). Divided into several teams, they have to date looked for the critically endangered bird along five rivers in the Pekalongan area, making numerous observations about the habitat in the process and recording other bird species present. This SwaraOwa project, supported by the Asian Species Action Partnership (ASAP) and the Oriental Bird Club (OBC), shows us what the citizen science movement can achieve.

Before we started on the survey, we held workshops on bird identification and survey techniques for residents from seven villages around the Petungkriyono, Doro and Lebakbarang forests. The event started in Mendolo Village on 11-12 March, and was subsequently repeated in Pungangan Village (25 April), Kayupuring Village (27 April) and Sidoharjo Village (26 May).

Our workshop at Pungangan, 25 April 2022

During the workshops, we taught villagers how to identify the Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher and distinguish it from other species of kingfisher. In terms of survey techniques, we introduced participants to Google Earth to help them find their way to the observation points. Along each of the rivers we covered, participants surveyed consecutive 1 km-long segments that contained five monitoring points 200 m apart from each other. Stationed at each of these points were two team members, who conducted observations simultaneously for one hour.

In addition to confirming the presence of the Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher, observers were asked to record the condition of the local habitat, other bird species observed and any human activity encountered. All this information was entered onto a data sheet.

Trial survey at Mendolo, 11-12 March 2022

As of early June, we have covered 29 of a total of about 37 km of river sections. This figure consists of 10 km on the Welo River, 6 km on the Pakuluran River, 5 km on the Blimbing River (including the Siranda River), 2 km on the Sengkarang River (including the Kumenep River), and 6 km on the Wisnu River.

The survey has produced very satisfactory results so far. We found Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher along two rivers, namely Welo and Wisnu. The kingfishers were found at an elevation of 308-715 m on the Welo River, and at 638-776 m on the Wisnu River. These sightings have extended the known distribution of the species.

Survey sites at Welo, June 2022

The encounter on the westernmost Wisnu River was quite impressive. The Wisnu team, Mendolo villagers who are part of the Mendolo Young Farmers Association, had previously covered 4 km along the river on three visits, which did not turn up a single Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher. It was only on 24 April that the team encountered two individuals, one male and one female.

Deserving of special mention is Siswanto Abimanyu, a resident of Mendolo Kulon Hamlet, whose quick reflexes got us an excellent photograph of the female bird. Sis, as he is known, was at a monitoring point with his colleague M. Risqi Ridholah. It was more than half an hour into their wait when suddenly the female flew in from downstream and landed only about 3 m away from them. A few seconds later she was off again, flying further upstream, but luckily that was enough for Siswanto to snap a picture of her.

Getting photographic evidence to prove the kingfishers were there was one major achievement of the survey. Not only that, the discussion sessions after each round of observation have revealed a total of more than 90 bird species in the area. These include several important and endangered species, such as the Javan hawk-eagle (Nisaetus bartelsi), the Wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) and the Sangkar white-eye (Zosterops melanurus). Some of this data was logged into the Burungnesia app as a contribution by the Pekalongan community to science and bird conservation.

Written by : Imam Taufiqurrahman, translated by T T. Chan