The Tonga Islands, Recent studies in the Togean Islands National Park and its surrounds have used camera traps and hidden cameras to uncover the park’s tremendous biodiversity. Camera traps are placed uniformly over four islands (Batudaka, Togean, Talatako, and Malenge) for this research.
From June to October 2022, a network of covert cameras recorded not just ground-dwelling mammals but also birds of many different species. At least 25 animal species, including some that are critically endangered, are known to exist thanks to this investigation.
The primary focus of this investigation is the Togean Babirusa (Babyrousa togeanensis). The endemic Babirusa, found only on the Togean Islands, is critically threatened. Only Batudaka, Togean, Talatako, and Malenge on the Togean Islands itself are known to have babirusa (Ito and Melletti, 2017). So, the full range of this species has been covered by the camera traps set up.
It used to be thought that there was just one species of babirusa. But, babirusa Kep now. The Sulawesi Babirusa (B. celebensis) and the Buru Island Babirusa are not the same species as the Togean (B. babyrussa). Hence, Kep. Togean has been identified as a babirusa conservation priority area. It is intended that the concealed camera placed in the Togean Islands would shed light on the lack of ecological studies conducted on the Togean Babirusa up until this point.
In addition to the babirusa, the cameras caught images of three other mammalian species: the Togean tarsier (Tarsius niemitzi), the Togean monkeys (Macaca tonkeana), also known as baboons/fonti in the local language, and the Javan deer (Rusa timorensis).
The Togean tarsier is another example of an island-specific endemic. The Togean Islands are home to a tarsier species that is widely believed to live on every major island aside from Una-Una (Shekelle et al, 2019). The investigation confirmed the presence of tarsiers on all four islands surveyed. Togean Yakis are confined to Malenge Island.
Togean Islands National Park Reveals the Richness of Animal Life
We attribute its appearance there to introductions (Riley et al., 2020). It is unclear, however, when or how this Central Sulawesi indigenous primate arrived there. In this research, Javan deer were only found on Talatako Island. The locals, however, claim that deer can also be found on the other three islands included in the study. The Javanese deer is an invasive species on Kep. Togean, and its introduction to the Togean Islands is as mysterious as that of the Yaki.
At least 21 kinds of birds were spotted in covert camera footage. Agus claims that more bird species were documented in this study than previously thought; however, additional analysis of the camera trap’s photos is required to confirm these claims. Six of these avian species are considered endangered or threatened.
1. Sulawesi Snake Eagle (Spilornis rufipectus)
2. Golden Junai (Caloenas nicobarica)
3. Philippine sandbar (Megapodius cumingii)
4. Paok Laus (Pitta elegans)
5. Sulawesi Mopo Paok (Erythropitta celebensis)
6. Blue-faced Railing (Gymnocrex rosenbergii).
There are at least 106 confirmed bird species across the entire Togean archipelago, with many more species presumably lurking undetected.
Agus Jati, a student originally from Central Java now attending the University of Maine in the United States for his doctorate, installed this covert camera as part of his research. The National Park’s accessibility is just one of the reasons why this kind of study is possible there. In order to aid in the efficient operation of the Togean Islands National Park, the Togean Islands National Park Agency (BTNKT) has developed a research roadmap.
Also, this research planning activity can help the Togean Islands National Park realize its aim of protecting and preserving tiny island ecosystems and making the best possible use of the park’s abundant biodiversity on the basis of scientific evidence.
The new approach to conservation area management requires a focus on these principles, therefore this is also in line with that.
1. valid data and information, not falsified, originating from field facts.
2. The method of data collection and analysis must be correct and based on science.
3. application of high technology in order to find the real value of genetic resources for humanity.
When it comes to protecting national biodiversity, the Togean Islands play a crucial role. Kep. Togean, which lies in the Wallacea region, is said to have a high potential for biological wealth. The designation of the Togean Islands as a national park, as stated by Ir. Bustang, head of the National Park Agency Kep. Togean, demonstrates the state’s dedication to protecting Indonesia’s natural richness to provide the maximum potential prosperity for the people.
“The local population has a vested interest in protecting the Togean environment, and for good reason. Having reliable access to environmental services like clean water and a wide variety of forest products is only one example of how ensuring the long-term health of the archipelago’s forests may improve people’s standard of living “said Bustang.