JAKARTA, Aug. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Five groups of the endangered Javan silvery
gibbon (Hylobates moloch), or Owa Jawa, have disappeared from the Kabandungan
Forest, a lush corridor that connects Mount Salak and Mount Halimun in Sukabumi,
West Java province, a park official said.
loggers have nearly cut down the entire corridor ... the small area of remaining
forest is now isolated from the Kabandungan ecosystem," Mount Halimun National
Park official Nur Faizin was quoted by The Jakarta Post as saying on Saturday.
In 1998, Faizin said five families of four to five Javan silvery gibbons
lived in the forest corridor.
"Maybe they died from the extreme change in their habitat, or were killed
by hunters, or migrated to another location," he said.
Another Halimun park official Ika Kristiana warned the extinction of many
flora and fauna, especially those as yet undiscovered in the forest, due to
disappearance of the forest corridor.
The Kabandungan corridor is vital to the preservation of the mountain
ecosystems of Salak and Halimun, which are home to different animals and
"We believe the forest corridor linked the two ecosystems and enabled their
endemic species to interact and expand their gene pools for better survival.
Without this, species endemic to the mountains would disappear one by one," Ika
The Ministry of Forestry placed Salak and Halimun under a single management
last year, expanding the national park from 40,000 ha to 113,357 ha across
Sukabumi and Bogor regencies of West Java and Lebak regency of Banten. The
Kabandungan forest corridor is located in Lebak.
In the next five years, Faizin said, the national park, along with the
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), would initiate a program
rehabilitating the diminishing forest corridor.
The park management and JICA are currently surveying the economic base of
villagers living around the forest, establishing the park's border and involving
locals in conservation programs.
In addition, they are encouraging villagers to switch to farming to reduce
their dependence on forests as their main sourceof income.
"We are also receiving assistance from other (environmental groups) to
rehabilitate the forest," Ika said.
The twin ecosystem is also home to 16 different species of eagles,
including the 18 Javan eagles spotted there, and eight remaining Javan silvery
gibbon families that forage across 40,000 ha of the park.
"We have found 40 panthers in the national park, each of which has a
territory of 1,000 hectares," he said. Enditem