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Javan slow lorises Lilo and Jomblo are cut free from their radio collars.

Two Critically Endangered Javan slow lorises that underwent intensive rehabilitation before being returned to the forest have finally had their radio collars removed after seven months’ post-release monitoring. They had been kept under close observation by a team of conservationists since returning to Mount Sawal Protected Forest in West Java in August 2017 and had adapted well to their natural habitat.

Every night our team used a radio receiver and an antenna to pick up signals from a radio collar fitted around the lorises’ necks, to keep track of their whereabouts, as well as their progress in adapting to their natural environment by foraging for wild food and seeking appropriate sleeping sites in the tree canopies.

With the help of local communities and forest police from the Centre for Conservation of Natural Resources West Java (BBKSDA), our team began searching for Lilo and Jomblo in the afternoon and continued on into the night, walking through thick forest cover, until they found them.

Robithotul Huda, Programme Manager of IAR Indonesia, said: “The removal of Lilo’s and Jomblo’s collars marks the end of the post-monitoring process. They have adjusted beautifully to their natural environment. They have already established a stable home range and proved to be adept at finding and feeding on wild food sources.” Furthermore, both were also observed socialising with wild Javan slow lorises.

The fact that Jomblo and Lilo have not only survived but are thriving back in their natural habitat is an indicator of the success of the release programme for slow lorises in the Mount Sawal Protected Forest. The forest covers an area of ​​5,400 hectares and is an ideal conservation area for the reintroduction of protected primates like the Javan slow loris. Since 2014, 55 Javan slow lorises from our centre in Bogor, including those that were surrendered by local people to the BKSDA in Ciamis Regency, West Java have been released in the Forest.