TEMPO.CO, Bandung - A couple of Javan gibbon (Hylobates moloch) named Boris and Inge was released to Situ Patenggang Nature Reserve Area in Ciwidey, Bandung Regency, Thursday, July 25. The two, locally known as Owa Jawa, were paired since January 4.
“They show a good response and are considered ready to be released to their habitat,” said Made Wedana, Country Director of The Aspinall Foundation of Indonesia.
West Java Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) involved in the release supported by PT. Bio Farma and Bali Zoo. Boris, a nine-year-old male gibbon, was moved from Bali Zoo, while Inge, the 5.5-year-old female one, was found by the BKSDA team and the wildlife rescue center (PPS) of Cinangka, Sukabumi.
According to the West Java BKSDA head, Ammy Nurwati, the release was the first case of gibbons in Situ Patenggang. “We hope the couple Boris and Inge succeed to adapt and breed as those gibbons in other areas,” she said.
Owa is an endemic primate in Java Island and is categorized as endangered species by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Environment and Forestry Ministry’s Directorate General of Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservation (KSDAE) also listed the animal in the top 25 fauna and flora conservation priority.
The population of Javan gibbons is recorded less than 2,500 living across conservation and protected forest areas in West Java and some in forests in Central Java. Throughout 2001-2019, 45 Owa Jawa inhabited the rehabilitation center of Javan primates in Patuha, Bandung. Thirty-five of them had been released to natural habitats in Mount Tilu Nature Reserve and protected forest Kanaan.