When I arrived in Indonesia these were my targets:
Outline of plan
Actual sighting of reptile wildlife is unlikely so in brief the plan on the reptile front is as follows.
Use opportunity to build links with team and document the work carried in both office and field using photography for profile awareness in Europe. Launch the following research to establish if specific reptile conservation and study work can follow at later stage:
- Local community survey on sightings of common and less common reptiles using laminated images.
- Collection, identification and logging of reptile photographs taken by organisations and amateur conservationists to date.
- Initial survey of food markets, pet shops, tourist zoos, hotel animals, animal exporters and animal farming centers.
- Establish and Collate interested parties or potentially useful local contacts, organisation individuals and amateur conservationists.
- Pilot test, GPS and photography logging of wildlife sightings, with view to then leave equipment for long term data collection.
Any information which can be gathered on reptiles will be of interest to organisations am working with. However for obvious reasons Tortoises and Turtles are the main interest and source of initial funding due to established contacts in the UK.
1st June 2012
After a few days in Medan I met with Mike Griff of BPKEL (leuserecosystem.org) who manage the whole of the Leuser Ecosystem. Force for the Forest comes under this umbrella. We spoke of my plans while sitting in the cafe part of Ronna's hostel right on the road, was hard to hear each other speak!
Next day we flew to Banda Aceh where the BPKEL headquarters are and here I outlined what I hoped to achieve while in this country and together we drew up an action plan of targets. I am to spend a few days at the office before heading to the south of the Leuser area in order to spend time at Suaq Balimbing research station.
- Helping force for the forest
- Recording chelonia
- Recording my own thoughts/photos
- Helping BPKEL
At the BPKEL office
I was privileged to sit in on a meeting between BPKEL and WWF, it is a shame I did not understand a word. Talking to the staff at BPKEL we swap tortoise and turtle pictures and general conservation notes. I was due to do a powerpoint presentation on chelonia but so far not enough staff were able to come together all at once! Still, early days! BPKEL office GPS co-ordinates: N5 33.190 E95 17.741