Slow Loris Education
Education activities, in combination with conservation programmes, are important in creating an impact on people’s perceptions about conservation issues. As different social demographics are involved in slow loris conservation, such as buyers, traders, hunters and people in edge habitat areas where releases are conducted, IAR implements different approaches to educate and create awareness. Some of these include an online platform called ‘Kukangku’ that targets potential buyer and pet owners, awareness campaigns in public spaces, education programmes in schools and for adults around forests areas used for releases and workshops and seminars conducted at Universities in Indonesia.
The result of our education and awareness programmes are also assessed in different ways. Our online platform has shown great success where pet owners who are asked to take down posts of lorises as pets have responded positively, decreasing the viewership of such posts. In addition, many loris pet owners have also surrendered their pets to the centre on learning that keeping lorises as pets is illegal through our online posts. Education programmes around release sites have been carried out in Batutegi, Ciamis and around Mount Salak. A result of our education programmes has resulted in the inclusion of local people in our field activities and encouraged the need for an alternative livelihood by reducing the dependency on forests and forest products. Over the years we have also received a number of University students helping with our projects as volunteers or conducting research in collaboration with IAR. This is seen to be a positive outcome of our education programmes in Universities across Indonesia, which helps encourage students to participate in activities and continue their career in the field of conservation.
All our work, from law enforcement activities to reintroductions is covered by both print and electronic media. The IAR website is also regularly updated with pictures and videos of our activities and of rescued and released lorises. Media publications of our work has also proven to be useful as an educative tool to reach a larger audience, which has helped encourage discussions and comments circulated on social media platforms. It has also helped IAR raise its profile nationally and internationally towards the conservation of slow lorises in Indonesia.