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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.