26 Jun 1998
This project will protect the Paguyaman Forest of Sulawasi, home to the babirusa pig
Dr Lynn Clayton is working to support the establishment and development of a 32,500 hectare protected area, the Paguyaman Forest, in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. This wild and remote rainforest is of international importance for the babirusa, an extraordinary, curly tusked pig which is endemic to Sulawesi. The babirusa is seriously endangered. Its wild population numbers approximately 5,000 individuals and this is dwindling rapidly due to illegal poaching and loss of habitat. The Paguyaman Forest, accessible by longboat, is one of the last remaining strongholds of the babirusa. Without active conservation and protection of the site, the very survival of this species is questionable. A key feature of the site is the large natural salt-lick where it is possible to observe the elusive babirusa as they congregate to consume the mineral rich soil and engage in aggressive jousting matches. Excellent populations of Sulawesi’s endemic mammals such as the anoa and various macaques occur here.
In August 1997 the reserve was officially gazetted. However slash and burn clearance, logging and illegal timber removal still threatens the area and international support and attention are needed to conserve it. This project will
carry out public education programmes in local villages and towns to communicate the importance of the site;
help to establish reserve infrastructure such as training rangers; and
help to develop the ecotourism potential of the area and ensure that the community is deeply involved in the process.
Lynn Clayton was a runner up for the 1998 Whitley Award. Find out more about Lynn's project from her website and from this BBC News Online article.