Where’s the loris? … There it is!!

Hi, my name is Endah, I came from the Department of Biology, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia. Although Jakarta is close to Garut (just need about 4-6 hours to get there), I’ve only been back home once while volunteering here because the Green House (Rumah Hijau) feels like my home and is very comfortable. Then, let me tell you some super cool and awesome experiences from my time volunteering at LFP, Cipaganti, Garut.

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Actually, this is my first experience in nocturnal observation using the focal animal instantaneous sampling and radio tracking methods. Loris observation is awesome! It is so cool because I can see the loris behaviour directly using my eyes, but sometimes I can’t see them because they usually hide in bamboo trees. I came here with Elsa – my friend from University – to finish my project, the topic of which is agroforestry mapping, correlated with the presence of the lorises, to complete my undergraduate study.

Rasi is hiding in a Kayu Putih tree

Rasi is hiding in a Kayu Putih tree

Slow lorises are adorable animals. I have observed 10 lorises out of the 20 lorises that LFP follows in Cipaganti. The tracker and I often fall and stumble when we observe the loris. But I never give up because it has become one of the funniest things of observations. When I was training, I felt so tired because it is my first time doing this and walking with these people. I think that when they walk one foot, I have to walk two feet Hahaha. But over time, I got used to it. Then, when we find the loris, the tracker usually brings the portable stove to make some coffee or tea because the weather is so cold. It can reach until 100 Celsius.

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Making some coffee with Aconk and Sam

Malaise Trap for Insects

I have been learning many things here. Everyone in the green house is very kind and teach me many things, such as training malaise trap with Albie, learn how to set camera traps with Aconk and many things from Laura, Marie and Sharon. Sometimes we also hang out, karaoke, aerobic with the children in MI Al- Hidayah and play UNO card with house people. Volunteers often get training to analyse observation data, such as R statistic, Q GIS by Marie-LFP new research coordinator. She usually gives us exercises to upgrade our skills and she teaches us patiently during training. It is very helpful and priceless.

Hang out with LFP family

Hang out with LFP family

I’ve been here for two months and I’ll stay for one month longer. But, I guess I would not mind if at the end of December I’ll come back here to continue my project and certainly to find another experience. Moreover, LFP people are very good, there is the trackers, coordinators and local staff- Dendi, Aconk, Adin, Yiyi, Rahmat, Suci, Wita, Marie, and Sharon. Then I would like to invite you to join LFP at Cipaganti, because volunteering is one way to help the lorises.

Rasi said, “I can’t speak for myself, you are my voice”

Rasi said, “I can’t speak for myself, you are my voice”

Thanks for reading! See you in Cipaganti!

  • Endah Septi Fauzi, Volunteer

A Short Visit, a Pretty Cool Adventure

Before coming here, I knew I’d wanted to go to Indonesia for a long time, and the chance to hang out with some weird and wonderful furry creatures seemed like a good way of spending a month of my summer. Other than that, I didn’t quite know what to expect from either the LFP or the lorises. So far though it’s been a pretty cool adventure. Long nights sat in a tea plantation halfway up a muddy mountain are made worthwhile by getting to watch the lorises go about their nightly business. The people aren’t too bad either.

Looking out over Cipaganti. The view to be enjoyed on the way back from an early morning shift in the forest.

Looking out over Cipaganti. The view to be enjoyed on the way back from an early morning shift in the forest.

Probably because everyone is partially nocturnal, life goes on at a different pace here. We emerge after dark, head-torches at the ready, and come back hours later with full data sheets and a fair amount of mud. Walking back from observation in the pre-dawn darkness to the sound of the imams from about five different mosques competing for attention feels pretty surreal.

We spent last night watching Maya, who seemed to be feeling particularly sociable. At one point we had three lorises following each other through the tree tops, and later on she spent ages playing with Mungkin (her youngest baby). The two of them made up a wriggly ball of loris fur high in the branches, clearly having the time of their lives. My first few weeks here have gone by ridiculously quickly, it’s a shame I don’t have more time.

Little Mungkin. Him and his mother Maya are still seen regularly together!

Little Mungkin. Him and his mother Maya are still seen regularly together! (Photo Credit: Dan Geerah)

  • Gyda Fenn-Moltu, Volunteer