About the program

 

Kukang is the Indonesian name for a protected species of a prosimian called the greater slow loris Nycticebus coucang. The aim of the program is to protect this species in Indonesia, with a focus on the northern Sumatra province, where this species occurs naturally. „According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, greater slow lorises are currently listed as species threatened by extinction and according to the Indonesian Law No. 5 about the protection of living sources and ecosystem from 1990, mostly known as the Law of Nature Conservation No. 5, they are even considered an “absolutely protected species”.“ Despite this law prohibiting all trafficking of this species, the greater slow loris is one of the most trafficked mammal species in Indonesia, mostly as pets. Other threats, such as loss of natural habitat and killing of greater slow lorises as pests of agricultural crops, are in this case clearly surpassed by the extensive illegal trade.

The trapped slow lorises are held in very inappropriate conditions (Source: Čižmářová, 2016)

The trapped slow lorises are held in very inappropriate conditions (Source: Čižmářová, 2016)


The Kukang Rescue Program is trying to deal with this situation. Purpose of this program is the conservation of slow lorises in Indonesia with focus on the area of North Sumatra province - their natural range. Mission of the program is to minimize the presence of slow lorises on black markets where the stressed animals frequently develop various infections, mainly as a consequence of their teeth being pulled out by the traders so they cannot bite their new owners, and thus make it easier to turn them into pets. The Kukang Rescue Program thus try to minimize the physical and mental suffering of the animals in the completely unacceptable conditions of the markets.

After their acceptance, confiscated slow lorises undergo a necesary basic veterinary examination (Source: Čižmářová, 2016)

After their acceptance, confiscated slow lorises undergo a necesary basic veterinary examination (Source: Čižmářová, 2016)


The aim of this program is to weaken the illegal trade of the protected prosimian species of the greater slow loris in the region of North Sumatra and enable the effective enforcement of current laws.

Rescue and rehabilitation centre of The Kukang Rescue Program (Source: Čižmářová, 2016)

Rescue and rehabilitation centre of The Kukang Rescue Program (Source: Čižmářová, 2016)


The basis for achieving the goals of the program is to run a rescue and rehabilitation centre for the confiscated lorises. This step follows the recommendation of Dr. Chris R. Shepherd, regional director of TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia, who is focused on the problem of the illegal trade of wild animals and stated that the absence of such a facility is a huge obstacle for authorities in charge of enforcing the relevant laws in an effective way. It is necessary to take action immediately, as long as the situation still has a reasonable solution, and also support the effort of International Animal Rescue that runs similar rescue and rehabilitation centre for slow lorises in Java. The fact that untill now there is no such centre in Sumatra that would enable the intake of confiscated animals and therefore enforce the laws, is just enhancing the obvious need for action.


Slow loris in the rehabilitation process (Source: Čižmářová, 2016)

Slow loris in the rehabilitation process (Source: Čižmářová, 2016)


The Kukang Rescue Program is outlined as a complex program for the conservation of greater slow lorises and it is unique in the area because of its scope. It takes into consideration the gravity of the particular aspects, which are the massive extent of the illegal trading of wild animals, the need for a facility for the confiscated animals, the absence of effective enforcing of the laws and last but not least the need for enhancing the awareness and education in specific areas. The Kukang Rescue Program aims to deal with each single aspect and reduce the negative influence of the black market on the wild populations.

The sustainability of the program is defined mainly by the long-term effective and complex conservation of the particular species, alternatively also other species that could be influenced by the program.

North Sumatra

Area of North Sumatra (Source: Lenka Vondráčková, 2014)