Indonesian Primate Day Date in the current year: January 30, 2024

Indonesian Primate Day Indonesian Primate Day (Hari Primata Indonesia) is celebrated annually on January 30. It is a working holiday that was established in 2014 to raise awareness of the need to preserve and protect Indonesian primates and their habitats.

There are around 40 primate species found in Indonesian forests. They play an important role in maintaining the ecosystem balance due to their unique behaviors and characteristics. For example, some primate species help disperse seeds or pollinate plants. They can also function as both predators and prey, playing a role in maintaining food chains.

In addition, primates are often considered charismatic species, i.e. animal species with widespread popular appeal that draw attention and interest from the general public. Because of this, they are used as flagship species in ecotourism initiatives and conservation programs. Primates are great attractions for ecotourism, which can be beneficial for local communities around their habitats.

Sadly, 70% of Indonesian primates are threatened with extinction due to illegal trade, poaching, and habitat loss. Six Indonesian primate species used to be listed on The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates list: the Natuna Island surili, Miller’s grizzled langur, the silvery gibbon, the Siau Island tarsier, the Sumatran orangutan, and the Northwest Bornean orangutan.

The main threat faced by Indonesian primates is illegal pet trade. Up to 95% of animals sold in Indonesian markets are captured in the wild rather than bred in captivity. Every year, thousands of Indonesian primates are captured by poachers to be traded; many of them are killed in the process and about 20% of the captured animals die during transportation. Some traded primates are mutilated by their sellers (for example, slow lorises have their teeth pulled out or cut to prevent them from biting potential buyers) or trained in sadistic ways to make them learn tricks.

Indonesian Primate Day was launched by ProFauna Indonesia, an Indonesian nonprofit foundation that works to protect Indonesian forests and wildlife. Its six main areas of work are forest conservation in collaboration with local communities, forest rehabilitation, protection of natural reserves, nature conservation education, sea turtle conservation, and prevention of wildlife hunting/poaching.

Indonesian Primate Day is celebrated on January 30 to commemorate the anniversary of ProFauna’s Primate Freedom Tour. Primate Freedom Tour was an awareness campaign tour across Bali and Java, during which ProFauna’s activists promoted primate conservation to the general public and encouraged others to hold similar campaigns in their communities.

The main goal of Indonesian Primate Day is to draw the attention of both the Indonesian government and the general public to the importance of protecting Indonesian primates from illegal pet trade and other dangers, as well as saving their habitats from fragmentation and destruction. Schools, workplaces, and communities across Indonesia are encouraged to participate in the campaign by hosting special events and preparing posters and banners with primate conservation messages.

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Indonesian Primate Day, environmental observances, observances in Indonesia, primate conservation, threatened species