Tuesday August 9, 2011
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Institut fur Zoologie, Universität
Hohenheim, Garbenstr. 30, D-7000 Stuttgart 70, Germany.
In cooperation with PHPA (Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation) and AWB (Asian Wetland Bureau-lndonesia, I will conduct an otter survey in West Java as part of my MSc research. Although all four Asian otter species (Lutra lutra, Lutra perspicillata, Lutra sumatrana, Aonyx cinerea) have been historically reported from West Java, no survey has over been conducted on the actual distribution, different habitat use, and ecological demands of the probably coexisting species. Reports of otter sightings have decreased drastically over the last 30 years, possibly indicating a tremendous decline of otter populations in West Java.
Total conversion of different tropical forest types, particularly mangroves, lowland forest and riparian woodland, have already completely changed the original habitat of many species, including most of the mammals in West Java. As there is not much unused land left in the province, agriculture and aquaculture have to become more intense over the next 20 years.
Otters are affected in every part of the province of West Java, especially in the highly populated fertile plains. They are being threatened by a combination of habitat destruction, hunting, trapping, and environmental pollution. The lack of precise field data about species distribution, ecology and species values in both, natural and cultivated areas, hampers the development of an appropriate management and protection strategy.
The main object of the project is to improve the knowledge on West Javan otter species in a broad sense, and to develop a regional action plan for otter conservation. Present distribution and status will be evaluated and otter habitats will be assessed. PHPA field staff will be trained on-the-job for otter surveys and for awareness consultancy in rural communities. A joint PHPA/AWB-lndonesia otter awareness campaign will follow the first phase of this project which is scheduled to start in May 1993.
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