Diver swims with gigantic sunfish in Indonesia


This 19 August 2019 video from Indonesia says about itself:

Diver Swims With Giant Mola Mola Fish

These lucky divers were dwarfed as they swam next to a Mola mola fish that was bigger than them.

Fred Tan Chee Wei Lael was swimming in Crystal Bay, Bali, when he came across the colossal sunfish.

Having almost come to the end of their dive, veteran diver of 20 years Fred was stunned when he saw the two-and-a-half-metre long giant floating nearby.

Despite only having 10 minutes of air left, he decided to swim alongside it for two minutes before having to head back to the surface.

Also, smaller fish swim around the sunfish.

Indonesian monkeys and trees, new study


This video is about long nosed monkeys: a documentary on Borneo‘s Proboscis Monkey.

By Leigh Cooper, special to mongabay.com:

Monkey sleep, monkey do: how primates choose their trees

December 31, 2014

Primates don’t monkey around when deciding where to spend the night, but primatologists have had a poor grasp on what drives certain monkeys toward specific trees. Now, two extensive studies of Indonesian primates suggest that factors in selecting trees each evening are site-specific and different for each species—and that some overnight spots result in conflicts between monkeys and humans.

“We have to understand what monkeys need [in order] to sleep to know what we have to protect,” said primate scientist Fany Brotcorne of the University of Liège in Belgium, leader of one of the research teams, in an interview with mongabay.com.

When monkeys choose their evening perch, they weigh more than just comfort. The main factors scientists suspect are safety from predators, distance to feeding grounds, human interactions, insect avoidance, and competition with other primates.

“Primates may be spending up to 12 hours at their sleeping sites, and yet we really don’t know much about them,” said Adrian Barnett of the University of Roehampton, in London, U.K., a primatologist not involved in the new work, in an email to mongabay.com.

The two unaffiliated studies occurred on neighboring Indonesian islands. Brotcorne’s team spent 56 nights in the Bali Barat National Park in Bali studying long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), a thriving primate species. In West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, primatologist Katie Feilen of the University of California at Davis followed the sleeping behaviors of endangered proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) for 132 nights.

Both groups noted the sizes and shapes of trees favored by the monkeys. Brotcorne’s group also measured the distance between sleeping sites and human outposts such as temples, tourist areas, or roads.

The proboscis monkeys returned each night to tall, isolated trees near rivers. The monkeys gather in trees that jut above the canopy to avoid predators and insects, believes Feilen. Predators can’t crawl from tree to tree toward the monkeys if the trees’ branches don’t touch. At the same time, the monkeys’ lofty—and windy—perches help them avoid malaria-ridden mosquitoes that tend to remain within the canopy.

“I think insect and disease ecology plays a bigger role in all these questions of primatology than we are all thinking,” said Feilen.

The long-tailed macaques snoozed away in trees near human-modified areas. Brotcorne suspects food availability was the main factor driving the macaques’ bunk choice. The monkeys scooted closer to a Hindu temple and tourist area where fruit, rice, and crackers abounded during the peak tourist season. The timing of their move also coincided with the start of the dry season and a decline in natural fruit production. The two teams reported their findings side-by-side this month in the American Journal of Primatology.

There is not just one evolutionary force influencing sleeping tree preference for primates, pointed out both lead authors.

“Both papers are significant in that they are showing the importance of sleeping sites in primate ecology,” said Barnett. “What is needed is a collation of data that is sufficiently broad to allow general theories to be put up [about sleeping tree selection].”

The distinct sleeping site chosen by the two species also influences the primates’ interactions with humans. Loggers preferentially remove the tall riverside trees favored by the endangered proboscis monkeys, threatening the species’ habitat, said Feilen. The proboscis monkeys she studied had to contend with deforestation by mining and palm oil companies. Also, local hunters knew where to find the predictable primates.

On the other hand, macaques and humans have competed for space and food in human-modified areas for centuries. But their close contact worries Brotcorne because diseases can cross from monkeys to humans and vice versa. Human food is not the healthiest diet for monkeys, she added.

“If you go to the tourist monkey forests, you will see obese monkeys,” said Brotcorne.

Citations:

Feilen, K., and A. Marshall. 2014. Sleeping site selection by proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. American Journal of Primatology 76: 1127-1139.
Brotcorne, F., C. Maslarov, N. Wandia, A. Fuentes, R. Beudels-Jamar, and M. Huynen. 2014. The role of anthropic, ecological, and social factors in sleeping site choice by long-tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis). American Journal of Primatology 76: 1140-1150.

Leigh Cooper is a graduate student in the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Bali, Indonesia, colonial war and painting


This video is about the Dutch colonial war in Denpasar in Bali island, Indonesia, in 1906.

In 1908, there was another colonial war on Bali, against Klungkung principality.

Klungkung puputan painting from Bali

From the Newsletter #68 of the International Institute for Asian Studies in the Netherlands, summer 2014:

Bali at war: a painted story of resistance to colonial rule

The defeat of the royal family in Klungkung by Dutch soldiers on 28 April 1908 marks the point at which the entire island of Bali was incorporated into the colonial administration of the Netherlands East Indies. Both the event and the painting discussed here are known as the Puputan, meaning the ‘finishing’ or ‘the end’ in Balinese, referring to the slaughter or ritual surrender of the Klungkung royal family. This painting sits within a corpus of oral traditions about the defeat of Klungkung yet it shifts conventional perspectives by describing local developments prior to the clash between the Dutch and members of the royal household at the site of the palace.

The complete article is here.

Endangered Bali starlings to bird sanctuary


This video says about itself:

31 March 2011

The Bali Starling or Rothchilds Mynah, is critically endangered with only a few dozen birds left in the wild and in captivity.

From the Jakarta Globe in Indonesia:

Endangered Bali Starlings Given New Home on Island Bird Sanctuary

3:06 am December 27, 2013

A pair of endangered Bali Starlings taken from West Bali National Park are to be set free at a bird sanctuary on a small island east of Bali, an activist said on Friday.

The starlings, known locally as jalak Bali, will be released on Nusa Penida island on Dec 30, I Gede Nyoman Bayu Wirayudha said in a press release.

Bayu is the founder and CEO of the Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF), a non-profit that works to protect wildlife in habitats. The organization manages the sanctuary on Nusa Penida island.

“Indonesia’s Minister of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan, will release the birds in a special ceremony near our conservation center at 10 a.m. on Monday,” Bayu said. “These birds will bring a new blood line to the more than 100 Bali starlings already living in the wild within the island sanctuary.”

The FNPF has been providing technical support and advice to the park’s Bali starling conservation program for more than 10 years.

Bayu said that the two starlings were given in exchange for starlings from FNPF’s breeding collection on Nusa Penida.

The sanctuary, the only one of its kind in Indonesia, provides an unofficial haven for endangered birds.

FNPF claimed that the project had the backing of the islands’ 46 villages. The sanctuary also had the backing of the Bali Bureau of Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), which recently sponsored the installation of four bird’s nest boxes on the island, along with the donation seeds and polybags for FNPF’s nursery.

The Bali starling is one of world’s most endangered birds. Nusa Penida is home to an estimated 100 Bali starlings today, up from just 10 birds in 2006.

Earlier this month, conservation officials in Solo, Central Java, imposed new rules for the trade in the critically endangered species, in a bid to stamp out the illegal practice of passing off wild-caught birds as captive-bred ones.

Bali fish, coral discoveries


This video is called United Nations TV – Bali’s Coral Reefs.

From daily The Guardian in Britain, with photos there:

Fish species discovered in Bali

A two-week marine survey conducted by scientists with Conservation International (CI) in Indonesia, along with local partners, led to the discovery of eight potentially new species of fish and a potentially new species of coral in the waters surrounding Bali island.

The team observed that commercially important reef fish were severely depleted. In over 350 man-hours of diving, the team observed a total of three reef sharks and three Napoleon wrasse – a stark contrast with a healthy reef system where a diver would expect to encounter this number of large reef predators in a single dive.

Conservation International reports:

Among the potentially new species documented were two types of cardinalfish, two varieties of dottybacks, a garden eel, a sand perch, a fang blenny, a new species of goby and a previously unknown Euphyllia bubble coral. Further study will need to be done to confirm the taxonomy of each species.

In Pictures: Top ten new species: here.

East Timor’s coral reefs threatened: here.

Scientists hope to restore Abu Dhabi’s coral reefs: here.

Human Excrement to Blame for Coral Decline: here.

August 2011: A map of the world’s corals and their exposure to stress factors, including high temperatures, ultra-violet radiation, weather systems, sedimentation, as well as stress-reducing factors such as temperature variability and tidal dynamics has been created by Wildlife Conservation Society researchers and other marine scientists: here.

Cleaner fish feed in male-female pairs by removing parasites from larger ‘client’ fish. While providing this cleaning service, cleaners may get greedy and bite clients rather than sticking to parasites. This cheating by cleaners causes mealtimes to come to an abrupt end as the irritated client fish swims off: here.

Captive breeding could transform saltwater aquarium trade and save coral reefs: here.

October 2011. A U.S. Virgin Islands company has been sentenced for knowingly trading in falsely-labeled, protected black coral that was shipped into the United States in violation of the Endangered Species Act and the Lacey Act, according to the US Department of Justice: here.