World Pangolin Day – Save the Pangolin!


Pangolins are unique and extraordinary mammals characterised by their scaly skin, which protects them in the wild. Eight species of pangolins inhabit Asia and Africa: Indian pangolin, Chinese pangolin, Sunda pangolin, Philippine pangolin, tree pangolin or white-bellied pangolin, long-tailed pangolin or black-bellied pangolin, giant pangolin and Temminck’s ground pangolin.

The name pangolin derives from the Malay word ‘penggulung’, which means roller. This name is representative of how pangolins behave when they feel threatened, rolling up into a ball. Pangolins are solitary mammals and are primarily nocturnal. They inhabit various different types of forest such as tropical, limestone, bamboo, broad-leaf and coniferous forests. Grasslands and agricultural fields may also be suitable habitats for pangolins. Their diet consists of ants and termites.

According to the IUCN, pangolins are the world’s most trafficked mammal. Their popularity in the illegal wildlife trade is due to poachers selling them as meat and their scales being used in traditional medicine to treat psoriasis and poor circulation. Two species have been listed as Critically Endangered, the Chinese and Sunda pangolin. Indian and Philippine pangolins are Endangered and the four remaining species of pangolin are Vulnerable. These classifications reveal the threat pangolins face from extinction. With more than one million individuals being taken from the wild over the past decade, there is no better time than now to take action and help save the pangolin from extinction. We must give pangolins a voice.

Although protected by strict trade laws,  a pangolin is taken from the wild every five minutes. Today, BBC news reported that a recent study has found that ‘animal traffickers are taking advantage of remote ivory trade routes to smuggle one of the world’s most endangered animals out of Central Africa’. 

Since 2001, the Little Fireface Project team has been including pangolins in our survey work throughout Southeast Asia. These surveys include their wild habitat and sadly in the markets too. LFP Research Associate Dr Nabajit Das of the University of Guwahati is undertaking one of the first studies of pangolins in Assam, Northeast India.

On the 17th February a global pangolin day is being held in celebration of this incredible mammal. You can help save the pangolin from extinction by raising awareness of the cruelty imposed on this animal by:

Sharing this article
When traveling, don’t buy pangolin meat or products such as pangolin leather.
Support pangolin conservation and charities such as Tikki Hywood Trust
Spread the word!

Written by Lucy Holland

Matt’s Blog – People, Places and Planes

Having arrived in Indonesia nearly a month ago a lot has happened. I’ve experienced Java from the densely populated megacity Jakarta, to the tranquil forests of west Java – and much in-between. The village of Cipaganti provides a vibrant and welcoming back-drop for the volunteer house. Located high in the mountain, and surrounded by sprawling farmland, plantations and eventually, high up the mountain the forest.

The remaining forest found at the top of the mountain is peaceful and remains little disturbed. To get there you have to hike up the mountain on thin slippery mud paths; through the agricultural land and sprawling labu plantations. It is within this agriculture and labu that the projects focal animals persist. The slow lorises are found at night weaving through the labyrinth of labu, coffee, tea and occasional small forest patches to hunt for insects, their feeding trees and bamboo sleep-sites.

Mount Gunung Puntang

I was lucky enough to see some wild animals in my short time here including leopard cats, snakes, tree-shrews and wild. I was lucky enough to see a slow loris family when following Shirley, one of the sites focal animals, with the trackers and Helene who was conducting observational research. Unexpectedly Fernando, a burly male loris and partner to Shirley arrived with their baby Star. Fernando watched as Star left his side to join her mother, once she was safely with her he departed, leaving the two safely foraging together amongst the calliandra trees. We continued to watch the mother and daughter as they feed and clambered through the trees, with the baby remaining in her mother’s caring, attentive gaze. Shirley and Star soon went to their sleeping site, deep a large bamboo out of sight. To our surprise after half an hour or so Fernando returned to join his family to sleep.

Within the site the staff and volunteers have all become a ‘family away from home’ much like the lorises we observed. I feel the project, and as an extension the volunteers are accepted as members of the village – we were even all invited to Wita, the local teacher’s, birthday meal where her family welcomed us into their home as friends. The villagers are all so warm, welcoming, friendly and polite. From toddlers to the elderly and everyone in-between you are always greeted with a pleasant smile, or friendly wave from people you pass in the street.

I have found I spend a lot of my free time ‘entertaining’ the local children who children flock to the research house to play games, draw and colour or climb our tree to snack on the apple-like Jambu fruit which seems to always be in bloom. I recently spent hours with a group of usually boisterous boys teaching them to make paper aeroplane, and colouring them in. We then saw who could fly their plane the furthest. I was particularly pleased the children remembered how to make the planes the following day.

The children are always pleased to help me learn Bahasa Indonesian – patiently telling me what things are called and aiding with my pronunciation; especially when we are talking about animals! I was delighted to be able to return the favour when I, along with Lucy and Danielle was invited to teach English at the local school. The children were keen to learn –attending even though they had to walk through a heavy rain downpour to attend!

The class was predominantly girls; to begin with they were shy to talk in-front of us but this was overcome due to their eagerness to learn. We taught them English introductions and polite conversation and refreshed their English numbers. The children and teachers were so welcoming and grateful for us helping and asked for a group picture and for us to return next week.

 

 

 

Baby Slow Loris Rescue!

By Lucy -Public Relations  Outreach Officer


Hey 🙂 I’m Lucy and I began volunteering for LFP in 2015. I am now the Public Relations Outreach Officer for LFP, which involves organising events such as Slow Loris Outreach Week and managing LFP’s social media. I am also a Masters student in Primatology and Conservation at Oxford Brookes University. For my Thesis I am interested in arboreal bridges as a habitat strategy for the slow loris living within a fragmented agroforest. I have designed a Building Bridges Education Pack for children in Java, and these activities take place every Friday and Saturday in Nature Club. I will be measuring the programme’s success at instilling a sense of compassion and protection towards the slow loris and the natural environment. I will also be working and learning alongside local farmers, and helping out with the agroforestry project, as well as creating and participating in outreach days within the local community. I am very passionate about caring for animals, people and the planet <3

Talking about my regeneration

 

Continue reading Baby Slow Loris Rescue!

Slow Loris Conservation Through Education and Outreach

By Ella Brown – Field Station Coordinator


As the Field Station Coordinator, my job encompasses many responsibilities. From conducting slow loris observations, paying salaries, and overseeing volunteers. Here, I do a large mixture of things. One aspect of my job that is very important to both me and the organization is our education and outreach activities. Every week, we go a local school to lead what is called Nature Club. About 70 children, ages 6-13, attend our lessons. We start each session with a small English lesson, usually about simple grammar rules or new vocabulary words, and continue with lessons about local wildlife and conservation. Every 3 months, we have a new theme to our lessons. We just started a new theme, with the help of a volunteer working on her Master’s thesis, called Building Bridges. For the next 12 weeks, our students will learn about the different lorises that live near their homes and why protecting them is important. Many of the children’s families own farms in the mountains that intersect slow loris homeranges. Therefore, we will “assign” each student a loris who they will learn about and want to protect. We hope to instill a sense of pride in each student about the loris whose home they share, encouraging empathy and awareness of lorises and all other Indonesian wildlife.

Continue reading Slow Loris Conservation Through Education and Outreach

Tackling Wildlife Trade

Abdullah’s Blog


About 75 km to the southeast of the capital city of West Java lies a town with lots of panoramic views. Beaches, volcanoes, hot springs, and other beautiful landscapes can be found easily here. No wonder people call Garut as Swiss van Java. A piece of Switzerland lies in Java.

Every Thursday, I take a project motorbike to go down the hill to the center of Garut for market surveys.  The town has two bird markets, Kerkoff and Mawar bird market. They are not far from each other. Kerkoff is more like a bunch of fragmented bird shops, the shops are separated by a big river of Cimanuk. There are 6-7 shops I visit in Kerkoff market. The market has been undergoing some changes over the time such as shop closing down or new shop open. While Mawar market consists of lining bird shops, and behind this, lies the traditional market. Kerkoff is usually busier with birdkeepers than Mawar as its provide more bird species and more number of individuals offered. There is one shop in Kerkoff market that sometimes they sell Mammals such as palm civets, leopard cats, etc. Luckily I never saw slow loris sold there.

A glimpse of a shop in kerkoff market

Continue reading Tackling Wildlife Trade

Behind the Scenes of Real World Conservation

Everyone reading this is most likely aware of the Little Fireface Project and what we do.  Our conservation and research work is crucial to the survival of the Javan slow loris and often times we can look incredibly impressive through our social media accounts and research outputs.

While this is all of course an accurate representation of the incredible work that I am lucky enough to be a part of, it is only half of the story. Unfortunately, only a small portion of each of my days is reflected in these inspiring images. The vast majority of the day of a coordinator is much less glamourous!
Continue reading Behind the Scenes of Real World Conservation

Sapphire’s Experience in Cipaganti

Left: Top – Tracker Yiyi, Saphy, Tracker Adin, Middle – Lala, Saphy, Aim and Ida (all volunteers), Bottom – Ella (FSC), Abdullah (Wildlife Trade Officer), Saphy, Ben, Imanol (volunteers) and Hélène (Research Co-ordinator) Right: Top – Wita (LFP Teacher) and Saphy, Bottom – Saphy, Ben, Tracker Aconk and Tracker Yiyi.

 

HAPPY HO-LORISIDAES!

It’s the holiday season here at LFP and it’s a time to celebrate and conserve simultaneously. I’m Sapphire and I apologise for my awful pun in the title! I have now been in Cipaganti for almost four months helping with day shifts, night follows, starting my project on loris bridges, teaching English and learning Indonesian in Garut and helping to sort the camera trap data! As I haven’t written a blog in a few months I thought I’d go hardcore and go through what I’ve been up to and hopefully inspire some of you to spread awareness for the project and its plight, but also to come and volunteer in a place like this! So I hope you enjoy what I have to say. Continue reading Sapphire’s Experience in Cipaganti

Imanol’s experience at LFP so far

I´m Imanol and I´m from Bilbao. I have come to LFP as part of my master´s degree – I study Primatology in Girona. I am particularly interested in prosocial behaviours of primates and have been analysing this topic throughout many species. Now I have travelled accross the world to study this first-hand in the field, specifically in slow lorises. I will stay in Indonesia for 4 months, although now I have already hit the halfway mark! So for my first blog I would like to talk a little bit about my emotional journey of coming to the project.

Continue reading Imanol’s experience at LFP so far

Aim’s Great Experiences with Birds and Javan Slow Loris at the Little Fireface Project

Hi there, I am Zulaima Rakhmatiar. but my friends just call me Aim. I’m from Yogyakarta, Indonesia and I study at the faculty of Forestry at Universitas Gadjah Mada Yogyakarta. My studies focus on wildlife, especially birds. I am currently a volunteer at LFP and I have a project about interactions between Javan Slow Loris (Nycticebus javanicus) with birds. This is my primary research for my undergraduate thesis. In Cipaganti, Garut there is a lot of farm and agroforestry. In Sundanese (the native language of West Java) agroforestry is called “Talun”. The Javan Slow Loris currently must live in this changed habitat. Farmers plant many vegetables like cabbages, pumpkins (in Indonesian called Labu Siam), tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes etc. In Cipaganti there are a lot of tea gardens too. At the edge of the gardens there are certain tree species including: Kayu Putih (Eucalyptus sp.), Suren (Toona sureni), Avocado (Persea americana), Kayu Angin (Casuarina junghuniana), Bamboo and more. Continue reading Aim’s Great Experiences with Birds and Javan Slow Loris at the Little Fireface Project

Ida’s blog – The Bats in Cipaganti

Hai readers. My name is Ida Mustikaningrum. I come from Yogyakarta city. I study at Gadjah Mada University. Now I have lived in Cipaganti village, Cisurupan, West Java. I stay in green house of little fireface project (LFP) and usually people in here call yayasan muka geni. Little fireface project is a foundation that concern in conservation of slow lorises. In the LFP, there are 18 lorises that observed and the lorises have collared. Many activities in here are focused in lorises, such as observation, round, sleep site, photo shift, and capture. Each activity has the characteristics of each. Observation, we must observe the behaviour of lorises during five until six hours, but we can write the behaviour in the data sheet is every five minutes. Round, likes observation, but we can see the behaviour of lorises during 15 minutes and every shift of round we must looking for all the lorises. Sleep site, we must search the sleep site of every lorises and marking with GPS if we have found the sleep site. Photoshift, hunting photos of the lorises and hope get a lot of photos. Capture, we must capture the lorises and measure the morfometri and the weight of lorises, or we can put or take the collare. LFP give me a lot of learn especially about lorises because I become volunteer in here.

Additionally, In the Cipaganti I have done my project about diversity of bats in Cipaganti, Garut, West Java to get my bachelor title. I start my project around one month ago. My project area is at the homerange of lorises. I use mist net to capture the bats, so I put the mist net in homerange of lorises. Bats is a nocturnal animal, like lorises. So I go to field at the night.

Continue reading Ida’s blog – The Bats in Cipaganti

Saving the slow loris via ecology, education, empowerment.