In 2015, LFP began our Agroforestry Project with the intention of creating a programme that unified the outreach, education, and ecology frameworks that were already in place. The project focuses on reforestation of habitat using a mixture of trees that have value to local farmers and ecological value to loris populations.
The Little Fireface’s Agroforestry Project has three main goals:
- Increase the connectivity within the local habitat of the Javan slow loris.
- Involve local farmers and community members in the protection of slow lorises within their land
- Develop the knowledge of agroforestry within the LFP Nature Club by involving students in each step of the process.
Before the project began, meetings were held with local farmers in order to understand what tree species would benefit them and their farms. We then create a stratified plan with these species as well as key loris ecology tree species (Calliandra, Euclyptus, etc.) so that farmers may benefit from the products of these trees and lorises may benefit from the increased connectivity and food sources within the trees. The programme is paired with an agroforestry curriculum in our LFP nature club where once a week students are involved in each step of the agroforestry programme, eventually culminating in them planting their very own tree in the loris of their choice’s habitat.
The programme itself consists of several steps. Seeds are first collected directly from trees within our study site and brought back to our tree nursery where LFP staff first dry the seed pods in the sun for 2 days, then after the pod has dried enough where it peels away, harvest the seeds from inside. Seeds are then planted in small polyethylene bags where they spend on average 2 months growing into saplings. When saplings are ready, they are then planted in pre-determined areas within focal lorises’ homeranges that are in need of increased connectivity.