Is Surili Living Happy in Ujung Kulon National Park?

Ujung Kulon National Park protects one of the endemic primates of West Java, which is currently very rare. As it seems, her name is very pretty and cute; surili. Its small body size is covered with long hair. His face became even funnier because he had a topknot. Like many stories about why certain animals are so rare, surili has more or less the same story as to why there are only 5,500 individuals left in the world. Hunting, habitat destruction, and land use change, suppress surili’s life. One expert believes 96% of the surili habitat has been lost or changed in function (MacKinnon, 1987).

 

Surili or Presbytis comata currently has the status of a protected animal on the legal foundation of Keputusan Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan No. 106/MENLHK/SETJEN/KUM.1/12/2018 tentang Jenis Tumbuhan dan Satwa yang Dilindungi. According to Undang-Undang No 5 Tahun 1990 tentang Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam dan Ekosistemnya, Pasal 21 ayat 2, anyone who hurt, kills, keeps, owns, transfers, and trades protected animals such as Surili, whether alive or dead, shall be punished with imprisonment of up to 5 years or a fine of not more than one hundred million rupiahs. Then how is Surili’s condition in Ujung Kulon National Park? Does this cute animal live safely and breed well in a conservation area where the flag species is the Javan Rhino?

 

Based on the census by N.M Herianto and Sofian Iskandar, in the Kalajetan-Karangranjang forest group, Ujung Kulon National Park, in November 2002, two groups of surili found with group sizes between 3-6 individuals, consisting of adult males, adult females, teenagers, and children. According to researchers, the population of surili in the forest area of ​​Ujung Kulon National Park is low compared to ​​its habitat. The distribution of the surili population is found only in the Kalajeten-Karangranjang forest area and a little in the hills of the Honje mountains. However, the good news is, based on this census, 26 of 52 trees found in the surili habitat were forage trees. Surili eats leaves, flowers, and ripe fruit. One indicator of a good habitat is sufficient food sources. According to this census, the availability of food sources for the surili population in Ujung Kulon National Park is quite guaranteed.

 

The availability of sufficient food sources for the surili is good news. Does this mean that surili lives happily in Ujung Kulon National Park? This question cannot be answered because there is no population calculation, ecological aspect studies, and regular monitoring of surili. On the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species website, it is reported that the number of surilis continues to decline and conservation actions against surili appear minimal. There is no habitat restoration plan, no monitoring system, and  no plan or implementation of education about the importance of surili conservation. Researchers suggest that, in planning the management of wildlife species, the existence of surili currently needs to be a priority concern for the management of Ujung Kulon National Park because this conservation area is one of the very few remaining surili habitats.

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