Mount Merapi Eruptions Could Threaten Existence of 12 Mammalian Species: University Student
TEMPO.CO, Yogyakarta - The existence of at least 12 species of mammals in the Mount Merapi National Park (TNGM) is threatened due to volcanic activities of Mount Merapi, located between Yogyakarta and Central Java, stated a university student.
"By using many trap cameras, it is found that there are 12 types of mammals (in TNGM), 10 of which are land mammals. Most are long-tailed macaques, antelopes, hedgehogs, and mongooses," stated Nurpana Sulaksono, a student pursuing a forestry doctoral degree at Gadjah Mada University (UGM), on Tuesday.
The types of mammals found in the TNGM area also include lutung (langurs), wild boars, anteaters, forest wild cats, biul (ferret-badger), rase (small Indian civet), and flying squirrels.
According to Sulaksono, the time-to-time volcanic eruptions have threatened the existence of wildlife in the Mount Merapi area.
However, he also highlighted human activities that cause disturbance to wildlife, such as excessive grass harvesting, mining, and tourism activities in the region.
In his dissertation titled "Response of terrestrial mammals to various types of disturbance in the Mount Merapi National Park, Indonesia," medium- and large-sized mammals, such as macaques and langurs or antelopes, tended to avoid and stay away from areas where disturbances occur, such as settlements and mining areas.
"The animals tend to live in small covered areas and away from residential and mining areas, and they like to live in higher land," he stated.
He said that forest wild cats have the widest habitat in TNGM, with an area extending 5,000 hectares, both within and outside the TNGM area, followed by mongooses in a habitat spanning 4,700 hectares, and 3,000 hectares of antelope habitat.
However, he added, the habitat of antelopes was currently experiencing fragmentation due to Mount Merapi's eruptions and human activities.
The antelope habitat is located in the north and south of Mount Merapi.
"The (antelope) population connection between (Mount Merapi's) northern and southern areas is cut off, which will have an impact on the area's preservation," he stated.
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