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Conserving Sulawesi’s biodiversity

Science- and community-based conservation of Sulawesi’s biodiversity

Sulawesi is home to a variety of endemic species, yet many are threatened due to habitat loss and hunting and have not received substantial conservation attention both in terms of research and conservation.
PROGRES Sulawesi is a young, local NGO that champions community-based conservation to offer long-lasting solutions to address this challenge. The NGO follows two approaches: the first approach is community-based, by emphasizing capacity building and institution development for the local community to run and lead conservation projects in their area. The second approach is science-based, by conducting ecological and socioeconomic research to understand the current state of wildlife and measure the impacts of the conservation programs. PROGRES Sulawesi uses a variety of methods to study wildlife. The team connects with multiple stakeholders, such as communities, Indonesian and international experts, as well as local, regional and national authorities.

The vision of PROGRES Sulawesi is to have empowered local communities for the thriving and recovered population of Sulawesi endemic wildlife in well-managed ecosystems.

Until 2021 the NGO focussed on:
 - Sulawesi flying fox (Acerodon celebensis), Banggai, Central Sulawesi
 - Forsten’s tortoise (Indotestudo forstenii), Palu to Toli-toli, Central Sulawesi
 - Talaud cuscus (Ailurops melanotis), Talaud, North Sulawesi

With the partnership with Stiftung Artenschutz starting in late 2021, the programme extends to:
 - Sulawesi forest turtle (Leucocephalon yuwonoi), Palu to Toli-toli, Central Sulawesi
 - Opudi (Telmatherina bonti), Southeast/South Sulawesi
 - Anoa (Bubalus ssp) and Babirusa (Babyrousa celebensis)

In addition to the species focus, the team will to select one more several protected areas to conduct biodiversity surveys in neglected and under-resourced regions.

Project information

Sulawesi flying fox, Forsten’s tortoise, Talaud cuscus, Sulawesi forest turtle , Opudi, Anoa, Babirusa

Region: Sulawesi

Implementing partner: PROGRES Sulawesi

Duration: Since 2021



Project goals for 2022

  • Flying fox, Forsten’s tortoise, and Talaud cuscus are protected from hunting to allow the population to increase
  • Sulawesi forest turtle and Opudi population status and threat level are scientifically assessed to devise intervention plan
  • Anoa and babirusa population status and threat level are scientifically assessed in the focus areas to devise intervention plan, particularly as flagship to protect the Sulawesi rainforest in a particular protected areas
  • One neglected protected area assessed in its biodiversity and conservation status

Planned activities

  • To conduct population and distribution surveys, integrating a variety of methods such as camera trapping, transects and similar methods
  • To conduct livelihood surveys to assess hunting and ideas for sustainable use of natural resources
  • To conduct threat assessment surveys in the field and based on interviews
  • To hold focus group discussions and meetings with local communities and other stakeholders to find conservation intervention strategies
  • To conduct outreach activities, such as educational visits at schools and producing outreach materials