Saving stranded whales in Indonesia


This video says about itself:

21 November 2017

Rescuers rushed to save ten 45-ton sperm whales that beached themselves on an Indonesian shore.

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Slow lorises saved from criminal pet trade


This video says about itself:

Slow Lorises Rescued From Illegal Pet Trade | National Geographic

3 October 2017

Officials in West Sumatra, Indonesia, rescued nine slow lorises from being sold on the illegal pet market.

Six new sponge species discovered in Indonesia


This video says about itself:

9 June 2012

HD video of scuba diving at Bunaken National Marine Park near Manado city at North of Sulawesi island in Indonesia. Fascinating walls covered with sponges, soft and hard corals, huge green turtles and tiny nudibranches, colorful anemones with clown fishes, eagle rays, morays etc.

From ScienceDaily:

Six new sponge species and new symbiotic associations from the Indonesian coral triangle

September 18, 2017

Summary: The Indonesian coral reefs, located in the so-called coral triangle, are considered amongst the richest and most biodiverse places on Earth. Surprisingly, this impressive species diversity is still poorly known. Biologists now report the presence of 94 species of sponges, including six new to science and two new symbiotic sponge associations.

Comprising more than 17,000 islands, the Indonesian archipelago is one of the world’s most biodiverse places on Earth.

Sponges, aquatic organisms whose bodies consist of numerous pores to allow the ingress of water, are key components of this richness and play a fundamental role in the survival of coral reef habitats. Furthermore, they are also known for their medicinal benefits.

Unfortunately, due to the paucity of taxonomic expertise, the sponges from the Indonesian reefs are often ignored in monitoring surveys and conservation programmes, while their diversity is largely underestimated.

Researchers from the Italian Università Politecnica delle Marche and Università degli Studi di Genova, PharmaMar, Spain, and University of Sam Ratulangi, Indonesia, describe six new species in their paper in the open access journal, ZooKeys.

Inspired by their extraordinary biodiversity, the researchers teamed up with the pharmaceutical company PharmaMar to conduct several expeditions in the waters of North Sulawesi Island.

The authors reported a total of 94 demosponge species belonging to 33 families living in the North Sulawesi Island. Amongst them, there are six species new to science and two previously unknown symbiotic relationships.

Seven of the recorded species were collected for the very first time since their original description.

However, these findings are still scarce, given the abundance of the sponges in similar localities in the Indonesian archipelago.

In conclusion, the authors note that the marine diversity in Indonesia is still far from being well known.

“Thanks to this impressive diversity, these areas are important spots for diving tourism and require the urgent development of sustainable tourism practices”, they say.

A completely new group of sponges has been discovered, which scientists believe could be a key indicator species in measuring future mining impact in a region targeted for deep-sea mining of polymetallic (metal-rich) nodules. They are likely to be the most abundant nodule-dwelling animal in the area: here.

New deep-sea sponge could play a starring role in monitoring ocean health. Plenaster craigi grows on metal-filled rocks that are a target for mining, by Carolyn Gramling, 7:00am, October 10, 2017.

Java tiger not extinct?


Java tiger photo?

From the New York Times in the USA:

Tiger Species Thought Extinct Is Possibly Spotted in Indonesia

By JON EMONT

SEPT. 15, 2017

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Park rangers in Indonesia may have spotted an animal thought to live only in folklore and history books: a Javan tiger, declared extinct more than 40 years ago.

Rangers at Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java last month photographed a big cat unlike any previously seen in the preserve. The pictures, released this week, set off a flurry of speculation that one of Indonesia’s legendary species was still alive, and offered a rare bit of positive environmental news to a country in which natural places are being destroyed at an alarming rate.

“This used to be Javan tiger habitat,” Mamat Rahmat, the head of conservation at the park, told the local news media. “We hope that they’re still there.”

The photograph, which circulated across social media, prompted the World Wildlife Fund to support an expedition in search of the supposed tiger.

Despite the rangers’ excitement, some conservationists were skeptical that the cat really was a Javan tiger. “When the video is frozen the effect is that it looks like a tiger”, said Wulan Pusparini, a tiger expert at the Wildlife Conservation Society, who viewed video footage of the animal. However, when the animal was seen moving, she said, it more closely resembled a leopard. Javan leopards are an endangered species, and are rarely seen.

Java is roughly the size of Pennsylvania, but with more than 140 million people it is the most heavily populated island in the world. It was once home to thousands of endemic species, but hunting and development have led to a mass extinction.

Only a few national parks in West Java contain what is left of the island’s large fauna, which include just 60 rhinos and a small population of leopards. Of the three subspecies of Indonesian tigers, two — the Bali tiger and the Javan tiger — have been declared extinct. The Sumatran tiger still exists on Sumatra, but it is considered critically endangered, the result of hunting and rapid deforestation.

“Javan tigers have been extinct for three generations,” Ms. Wulan said. She said she wished the Indonesian public would get as excited about saving endangered animals as they have been this week about the potential for discovering an extinct species.

“That’s the Javan leopard”, she said of the mysterious cat. “That’s the last large carnivore on Java. You would hope people would get excited about it.”

Ujung Kulon National Park is mostly densely forested, so it is possible even for large animals like rhinos or tigers to hide.

Dutch colonial mass murder in Sulawesi, Indonesia


This video says about itself:

Apocalypse now! Captain Westerling

8 December 2016

Raymond Pierre Paul Westerling (31 August 1919 – 26 November 1987), nicknamed the Turk, was a Dutch military officer of the KNIL (Royal Netherlands East Indies Army). He waged a massacre in Sulawesi during the Indonesian National Revolution after World War II. He was also responsible for a coup attempt against the Indonesian government in January 1950, a month after the official transfer of sovereignty. Both actions were denounced as war crimes by the Indonesian authorities.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

‘More victims of mass executions in Sulawesi in 1947′

Today, 08:52

During mass executions by Dutch soldiers in Sulawesi, more Indonesians died in 1947 than was known so far. This is the conclusion of journalist Manon van den Brekel after months of investigation in the Indonesian island. According to her, not 1,200 but 1550 Indonesians were executed by troops led by the officers Jan Vermeulen, Jan Stufkens and Berthold Rijborz.

Van den Brekel, who works for De Correspondent site and others, concludes this in a new book about Dutch actions in Indonesia in the late 1940’s. On evidence of witnesses, she found five places of mass executions about which nothing could be found in Dutch official archives. She also found a place about which “summary information” was available in the Dutch National Archives.

The executions took place between mid-January and mid-February 1947. During that same period, also the infamous [self-styled war criminal] Captain Raymond Westerling participated in “purifications” in Sulawesi, which also executed people summarily, with the agreement of the Dutch government.

These actions are also estimated to have cost hundreds of Indonesians their lives, although the executions under Westerling’s leadership have never been investigated thoroughly, as has now been done with the actions of Vermeulen, Stufkens and Rijborz.

‘Many more witnesses’

Van den Brekel says to the NOS that she was amazed at the number of villagers on Sulawesi that could recall the events. She spoke for her research with over 90 witnesses, the youngest of whom was 75 years old. “But there were more.”

NOS correspondent Michel Maas sees the new execution figure as a footnote. “The Dutch army was guilty for a lot more executions than has been admitted,” he says. Indonesia says that there were 40,000 victims just in Sulawesi.

Dutch colonial murders in Palembang, Sumatra, Indonesia: here.