Over the years, LFP has gained invaluable knowledge about lorises and their behaviour through the use of radio collars. These collars weigh just under 20g each and are attached to the loris’ neck. But sometimes, situations change, and the collars need to be removed. Last week we had such a situation. Dalí, our young bachelor, was moving up the mountain faster than we would be able to track him. So before he disappeared, we decided to find him, remove his collar, and wish him the best in life.
This is definitely easier said than done! At 8am, the four trackers and the Rumah Hijau inhabitants set off towards a thus far unknown destination. It was one of the most gorgeous days yet – bright sunshine and a clear blue sky, offering views of Garut behind us and Mt Papandayan in front of us. As it was Ramadan, there was no water or food whilst we were climbing, and this definitely added a whole new dimension to the challenge.
The climb took us through some amazing landscape, however, and despite our panting and hard work it was worth it when the boys found Dalí after about three hours. We carefully handled Dalí as we measured his morphometrics, such as weight and size. After we took these, we removed Dalí’s collar and released him into a nearby tree. We wished him well as he walked off and blended in with the landscape.
There are many reasons why Dalí may be moving up the mountain. It is possible that the pressure of local farming is slowly moving the lorises to higher grounds. It is possible that Dalí is dispersing from his maternal home, or that he’s looking for a mate. We won’t know for sure until we do more research, and that’s what we do here in Cipaganti. The more we know about the lorises and their behaviour, the more we’ll be able to protect them.
– Faye Vogely