Indonesia Celebrates Primate Day!

Environmental activists and animal lovers from many cities in Indonesia celebrates Indonesian Primate Day altogether at the same day, in their own hometowns. The celebration is initiated and promoted by ProFauna, and is celebrated every year on 30 January. This year, there is a nationwide celebration in many provinces in Java, Bali, Suamtra, Borneo, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, and Papua. Not only are the celebrations in form of campaigns at public places, but also in form educational visits to schools or campuses. The activists carry a same message for the people of Indonesia: "Stop Indonesian Primate Trade!"

The call was made because primate trade has become the second most dangerous threat for Indonesian primates, after habitat loss. More than 95% of the traded primates were captured from the wild. Along the process of capturing and transporting the primates, cruelties are often inevitable. Many of them died in the process.

One of the most traded primates today is the Slow Loris (Nycticebus sp.). Most of the traded Slow Lorises have had their teeth removed by the poachers, to make them look nice and tame. As a nocturnal species (active at night), it become people's favorite pet because during the day they seem so cute and sluggish. In 2013 only, ProFauna noted that there were at least 40 cases of Slow Loris online trade.

Among the online-traded primates are Slow Loris (Nycticebus sp.), Surili (Presbytis comata), Javan Surili (Presbytis comata), Javan Langur (Trachypithecus auratus), and Tarsiers (Tarsius sp). The Slow Loris topped of the list of the most traded primate in 2013.

Peringatan hari primata IndonesiaThe Indonesian Primate Day celebration is used by activists as a moment to engage the people of Indonesia in the primate conservation efforts; one of the easiest way is by not buying primates. Keeping primates as pets at home also opens the possibility of the transmission of zoonotic diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, and herpes. Letting primates live in their natural habitat is the best act for everybody to save the primates and maintain public helath.

ProFauna's campaign officer, Swasti Prawidya Mukti, said "The celebration of Indonesian Primate Day this year is actually for the first time ever. There are more than 25 different places where people celebrate it, and it is a great joy for us to see such enthusiasm and concern from the public for a better protection of Indonesian primates."

ProFauna Indonesia also demands the government to pay more attention to the trades of protected primate species. There are a lot of protected primate species traded in the markets or online like the Slow Loris, Javan Leaf-monkey, and Siamang. According to the law of Indonesia no. 5 of 1990 concerning the Conservation of Living Resources and Its Ecosystem, the trade of protected primates is strongly forbidden and the malefactor are subject to minimum 5 years of prison and IDR 100 million fines. 

Meanwhile, there are around 200 primate species in the world, and 40 of them (almost 25%) live in Indonesia. In 2000, the IUCN published a red-list of 25 most endangered primates in the world. From the 25 species, four of them are from Indonesia: Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii), Siau Island tarsier (Tarsius tumpara), Javan Slow Loris (Nycticebus javanicus), and Pig-tailed Langur (Simias cocolor). Those primates will sure be extinct if there is no action to save them.

We will soon publish photos of the celebration of the Indonesian Primate Day from many cities. Thank you very much for ProFauna's supporters and all of the communities who have taken part in the celebrations!

© 2003 - ProFauna Indonesia

ProFauna Indonesia is an Indonesian society for the protection of
wild animals and their habitats