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Project May 12, 2022

The Threat to Four Endemic Primates and the Biodiversity of Sipora Island



Sipora Island, part of the Mentawai Islands located on the west coast of Sumatra, has a unique flora and fauna because it has been geologically separated from the Sunda mainland plate since the Mid-Pleistocene period, 500,000 to a million years ago. Separateness makes the local evolutionary process produce high endemicity for species that live there.

Sipora Forest is an important habitat for four endemic primates of Mentawai, namely bokkoi (Macaca pagensis), joja (Presbytis potenziani), bilou (Hylobates klosii), and simakobu (Nasalis concolor siberu). There are also endemic flying squirrels, different types of birds, reptiles, and various types of plants.

But the high-value biodiversity is endangered because the government, through the Regional Production Forest Center III in Pekanbaru, issued two logging permits on community land. One permit in the name of Samangilailai Services covers an area of 438.68 hectares in Sureinuk Village, South Sipora. Another permit is in the name of Aser Sababalat, covering an area of 243 hectares, in Tuapeijat Village, North Sipora.

Threats also arise from the expansion of agricultural land and residential areas because Sipora is the center of the capital of Mentawai regency. On the other hand, the status of forests on Sipora Island, which is a production forest area, makes forests in the region very vulnerable to exploitation for other purposes.

This project will illustrate the threat to Sipora forest and the biodiversity in it, as well as the rejection made by the community due to the logging permit.