Little more than 10,000 hectares of rainforest remains on Java

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
January 24, 2010



From 2003-2006, Java lost approximately 2,500 hectares a year (10,000 hectares of forest in total) according to the Forestry Ministry. Despite the rate of loss being far lower in Java than other Indonesian islands (such as Borneo, Sumatra, and Sulawesi), Java is particularly threatened because there is so little forest left. If the past rate of deforestation occurs from 2007-2010 then by the end of the year conservation organization Pro Fauna predicts only 10,000 hectares of rainforest will remain on the island, leaving a number of unique and endangered species in deep trouble.

In addition ProFauna campaign officer Radius Nursidi warns that the actual rate is probably higher than the official data reflects.


Fuel wood cut from the Java jungle. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
Java is home to a number of species that survive no-where else, including the Critically Endangered Javan rhino with a populated estimated at 40-60 individuals; the Endangered Javan Hawk-Eagle; the Endangered Javan gibbon; the Vulnerable Javan langur; the Endangered Javan slow loris; and the Endangered surili, a species of monkey. The island has already lost one of its flagship species to deforestation and poaching: the Javan tiger likely vanished entirely in the 1980s.

Poaching remains rife in Java, according to Pro Fauna, even in national parks, such as the R. Soerjo Grand Forest Park in Pasuruan and Merubetiri National Park in Banyuwangi. Illegal logging is also a problem at these conservation areas. Currently, there are no security posts at the exit areas of these parks, allowing poachers to easily escape with their quarry.

"[The] Indonesian government should take practical and political actions to save the remaining forests and wildlife in Java Island. The authorities should set up security posts in the exit points of the nature conservation areas," said Nursidi in a press release.

Indonesia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. Largely due to this fact it is also third in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, after China and the United States. Much of the deforestation is due to oil palm plantations, as well as paper and other wood products in some areas.




A captive Javan langur from Twycross zoo, Warwichshire, UK. Photo by: Julie Langford.







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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (January 24, 2010).

Little more than 10,000 hectares of rainforest remains on Java.

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/01240hance_java.html