Conservation of the Nantu Forest

Conservation of the Nantu Forest

North Sulawesi

Babirusa

(Babirusa celebensis)

The IUCN Status

LC Least Concern
NT
VU Vulnerable
EN
CR
EW
EX Extinct

Anoa

(Bubalus depressicornis, Bubalus quarlesi)

The IUCN Status

LC Least Concern
NT
VU
EN Endangered
CR
EW
EX Extinct

The challenge

Nantu Forest’s unusual and important ambassadors 
The Babirusa and Anoa are in grave danger of extinction in the near future. They are threatened by rampant destruction of their rainforest habitat, an extensive and insidious network of illegal poaching for their meat, combined with their slow reproductive rate and highly restricted global range. The Nantu rainforest is particularly special because in addition to the Babirusa and Anoa, it is also home to critical populations of other endemic endangered species, including the Heck’s Macaque, Sulawesi Tarsier, the Sulawesi Giant Squirrel, Red-Knobbed Hornbill, Sulawesi Dwarf Hornbill, Fanged Frog, Tuwa Flying Frog, as well as many more plant and animal species.

The goal

When miners, poachers and farmers drive out wildlife 
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Despite its global importance, the Nantu rainforest is gravely threatened with destruction from illegal gold-mining, wildlife poaching, slash-and-burn clearance for agriculture and illegal logging. Weak law enforcement, low conservation awareness, poverty and use of natural resources as political capital exacerbate these threats. The project team will establish a round the clock Forest & Species Protection Patrol. There is also a scarcity of field learning opportunities for local stakeholders in Sulawesi. This impacts negatively on local appreciation of biodiversity and on the local communities’ ability to value critical natural resources. The team will redress this problem by carrying out residential capacity building training workshops at Nantu for over hundered diverse stakeholders. These will build genuine local understanding for conservation through field learning. 

Our Role

Drawing a link between zoos and animals in the wild 
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WRS supports Lynn Clayton and the Adudu-Nantu Conservation Foundation (YANI) for this project’s protection units and its capacity building workshops. Apart from this, the project and WRS will establish a direct in-situ/ex-situ link between this globally-important site for wild Babirusa and WRS’s world-class Babirusa exhibits, so that WRS’s visitors can be made aware of the importance of Nantu forest and Sulawesi as a critical biodiversity hotspot in Southeast Asia. 

The Impact

Creating a new generation of Sulawesi Biodiversity enthusiasts 
The project team has more than two decades of grassroots conservation efforts at Nantu. They have built strong relationships with national and local government authorities, academic institutions, as well as the local police, villagers and NGOs. Looking ahead, the field training will produce a new generation of informed young local conservationists empowered with understanding of Sulawesi’s rainforest, including children and undergraduate students. With rigorous field patrolling on a 24/7 basis, it will also be easier to monitor and report illegal activity, building on the trust that the team has established with the Ministry of Forestry, with whom it has a 5-year MoU to protect Nantu.