Returning endangered species to forest needs steps

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Integrated steps are needed to return endangered species to their habitation jungles, not only preparedness of the rehabilitated species, but also improved forest condition to be conducive for them to live, an expert told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

"It is true that it's difficult to return the rehabilitated endangered species to their habitat as their capability to live in the wild decreases following months of being treated in sanctuary. However, if the species are ready, how about conditions of their habitat?" said Darma Jaya Sukmana, director of the International Animal Rescue (IAR) Indonesia, a wildlife preservation organization focusing on slow loris (Nycticebus Spp.)

He admitted that decreasing quality of habitat will pose difficulties for the species. Moreover, Indonesia needs a stronger law enforcement to avoid such endangered species out of their habitat.

"That's why we need the government's good willing in the process of forest rehabilitation and to impose stronger law enforcement. These integrated steps are needed to return the species back to jungle smoothly," he said.

According to Sukmana, nowadays it takes more serious efforts to rehabilitate endangered species as conditions are more difficult compared to the past.

"For example, it is not possible that one of the world's most endangered species of slow loris (Nycticebus Spp.) will be extinct just like Javanese and Balinese tigers if we do nothing or let current condition just the way it is. We don't want that slow loris extinct just like those tiger species in which we even cannot find any specimen," said Sukmana.

He also said that it is difficult to measure whether a species is back to be a non-endangered species from the point of view on population.

"It is almost impossible to return endangered species to their amount before. What we can do the best is how to maintain the existence of the species and to prevent them from extinction," he said.

He said that according to the Wildlife Crimes Unit (WCU), slow loris is the second largest primate traded in Indonesia after long- tailed monkey.

He also said that factors hindering law enforcement should be identified and addressed.

According to Sukmana, education to children about endangered species is very important to save the species from extinction.

"For example, we can educate children that it is not good to keep endangered species at home. We can tell them that slow loris, even though they are funny and cute, they are not cuscus that is also endangered species. Cuscus is more famous in Indonesia than slow loris that attracts children to keep them at home," he said.

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