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Multi-stakeholder collaboration first for species conservation in Indonesia

News from IUCN Asia

Jakarta, Indonesia, 25 March 2016 — International conservationists and the global zoo community are joining forces with the Indonesian national government for the first time to support species conservation in the country.

Zoo associations in South-East Asia, Europe and North America are linking up with IUCN, species specialists and departments of the Indonesian government.

It is likely that you have never heard of the species in question. The banteng and anoa are wild cattle, while the babirusa is a pig; the teeth of males grow upward through the roof of the mouth and curve toward their eyes. All are threatened with extinction, with two species being classified as Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.

This collaborative approach to conservation will bring together the skills of top zoos – conservation breeding, animal husbandry, veterinary treatment, education, population biology – with those of local experts, conservationists and sanctuaries on the ground. Conservationists call it the One Plan approach, with international zoos and local experts sharing knowledge to work in a more effective way.

This initiative is truly international; the aim is to build healthy global zoo numbers as insurance against the loss of populations in the wild. Banteng, anoa and babirusa are all declining due to hunting for food and because of habitat loss.

Tony Sumampau, representative of the Indonesian Zoo Association, said, “While the global zoo community is working with partners on educational efforts related to over hunting, we can make sure that there is a viable global captive population whose genetic diversity represents the genetic diversity in the wild. Because space and resources in zoos in only one nation or region are limited, a global collaboration may be able to ensure that enough animals can be managed to form a sustainable captive population.”

“The Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) under the auspices of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) offers an unique platform for partners from the global zoo community, in this case the South-East Asian Zoo Association (SEAZA), the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in North America, to work together with partners and authorities in Indonesia contributing to the conservation of these three species,” says Simon Tonge, chair of the WAZA Committee for Population Management.

James Burton, chair of the IUCN SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group, says, “This is the first global collaboration between zoos for the conservation of banteng, anoa and babirusa. While zoos cannot provide solutions for all conservation problems, they are one important piece in the puzzle. It will not be an easy task, but if we all work together, we have much better chances to save these species.”

Puja Utama, representative of the Indonesian government, adds, “Indonesia is very proud of its unique wildlife. We are confident that our national conservation action plans in combination with the efforts of the global zoo community can help to save threatened species in Indonesia.”

“Babirusas are an important icon of Indonesia’s unique biodiversity and a species with high socio-cultural value. The IUCN SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group is very excited about this opportunity to achieve real positive conservation outcomes for the species,” says Erik Meijaard, chair of the IUCN SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group.

For more information, please contact:

Lynne Labanne, IUCN Global Species Programme; m +41 795 277 221, e:

Hyatt Antognini Amin; WAZA Executive Office;  t: +41 229 990 793, e:

About the species


-The banteng (Bos javanicus) is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

-The species occurs in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam; but in small populations that are often very isolated.

-Fun fact: Bantengs can reach a weight of up to 1000 kg, and are the ancestors of the domestic Bali cattle.


-The anoa (Bubalus depressicornis, B. quarlesi) only occurs on the islands of Sulawesi and Buton, Indonesia.

-Anoas are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

-Fun fact: The anoa is also called dwarf buffalo due to its shoulder height of just around 1 m.  


-The babirusa (Babyrousa celebensis, B. babyrussa, B. togeanensis) occur on Sulawesi and adjacent smaller islands of Buru, Sula and the Togian islands.

-Fun fact: The extraordinary teeth of males grow upward through the roof of the mouth and curve toward the eyes.

About WAZA

WAZA is the unifying organisation for the world zoo and aquarium community. The world zoo and aquarium community welcomes over 700 million visitors annually. WAZA members are leading zoos, aquariums, associations, affiliate organisations and corporate partners from around the world; together, we are “United for Conservation”.

Small populations are rarely sufficient for securing long-term persistence of a species. Conservation breeding programmes at the regional or global level can help form larger populations, if needed. Most programmes are managed at the regional level for logistical and regulatory reasons. A new way of fostering collaboration inter-regionally is through Global Species Management Plans (GSMPs) administered under the auspices of WAZA. The WAZA Committee on Population Management (CPM) is overseeing the implementation of GSMPs.