Program Night: Conservation in a Biological Hotspot
A Firsthand Experience in an Indonesian Rainforest, with Marcy Summers and Jim Rettig
The Alliance for Tompotika Conservation (AlTo) is an international, non-profit partnership dedicated to conserving the rich and unique biodiversity around the lands and waters surrounding Mt. Tompotika, Sulawesi, Indonesia. The region of Mt. Tompotika is a biological hotspot and home to many endemic and sensitive species that occur nowhere else in the world. Such species include, the endangered Maleo bird, several sea turtle species, bat species, and the tarsier, a small primate. Sadly, many of these remarkable creatures are in danger of extinction primarily due to the loss of their forest habitat and overhunting by humans. Through field-based and outreach programs, AlTo has spent the last 10 years working directly with the community to build local support for the protection of the region's natural resources. Side by side with local people, AlTo has successfully worked to conserve endangered species and natural areas around Mt. Tompotika and has even brought one species, the Maleo bird, back from the brink of extinction.
Photo: Maleo, by Kevin Schafer
Jim Rettig, Vice President of the Eastside Audubon Society, traveled to Indonesia in January-February 2016 to participate in Tompotika's first scientific tarsier (a small arboreal primate) study lead by AlTo. The evening’s program night will be a presentation by Marcy Summers, Director of AITo, and Jim. They will share photos and stories of Jim's participation in the trip last year. The story will focus on AITo’s successful collaboration with the indigenous people of the Mt. Tompotika area that has helped to reverse the decline of the Maleo, preserve an island refuge used by roosting bats, and helped to save sea turtle hatchlings. The story will also talk mention the 2016 attempt to identify, through a study of its vocalizations, a possible new species of the tarsier, a small primate, which one scientist has described as "a pair of eyes on legs."
Enjoy beautiful pictures of Indonesia while learning about international collaboration and successful species conservation.