The Jakarta Post
The books can also be used by customs officials to identify protected animals. (Shutterstock/Billion Photos)
Forty experts and researchers have collaborated to produce a series of books that aim to help readers identify protected animals, from birds and mammals to amphibians and reptiles.
Launched in Batam, Riau Island, on Monday, the Guide Books to Identifying Protected Wild Animals consist of three volumes that elaborate on animals’ characteristics, identification techniques and steps to take when discovering them.
Indra Exploitasia, director of the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s biodiversity conservation, told Antara news agency that the books are also connected to an app run by the police’s Investigation Department (Bareskrim) that also accepts reports of wildlife smuggling attempts.
Mohamad Haryono, genetic resources subdirectorate head of the Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservation (KSDAE) Directorate General from the Environment and Forestry Ministry, said the books were based on Ministerial Regulation No. 20/2018, which listed more than 900 protected plants and animals.
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After holding a number of discussions, they decided to focus on three taxa, namely Aves (birds), Herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) and Mammalia (mammals), as a majority of the organisms that fall under those categories are endangered.
Haryono added that the books can also be used by customs officials to identify protected animals.
“These books are designed as simple as possible because not everyone knows the unique characteristics of these animals,” he said.
The books are part of a collaboration with different parties, including the ministry, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), USAID’s BIJAK project, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), University of Indonesia (UI), Burung Indonesia, FFI Indonesia, the Indonesia Herpetology Organization and Indonesia Wildlife Photography. (wir/wng)