OOT: Indonesian Ornithology in 2005, and the Indonesian Ornithological U

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Subject: OOT: Indonesian Ornithology in 2005, and the Indonesian Ornithological Union (IdOU)
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2006 20:57:37 +0930
[Forwarded message by Colin Trainor, on behalf of Didi M. Indrawan & the

Dear all,

May I share my provisional perception of the contemporary milestones of
the Indonesian Ornithological Union (IdOU) for 2005.

Undoubtedly, since this summary is drawn mainly from memory, there could
be very important things that I have missed, but hopefully the main
trends will be properly portrayed.

With the support of Indonesian NGO Network (PILI, <>  ) and
Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), IdOU was formally launched on
19 March 2005.  A one and half day seminar, participated by close to 90
ornithologists, followed.  The seminar proceedings, which will be
bilingual, is being compiled and edited by Yeni Mulyani (an
ornithologist-ecologist who recently received her PhD from Charles
Darwin University, Darwin, Australia).

Visiting speakers.

On a smaller scale, IdOU hosted invited talks, such as the role and
potential of Wildlife Rescue Centers by PPS Cikananga , facilitated by Ige Kristanto
(February 2005); a scientific presentation "ecological factors
underlying differential distribution patterns of a long-distance
migrant, the Western Sandpiper" by Silke Nebel (Biological, Earth and
Environmental Sciences at UNSW, Sydney Australia), facilitated by Yus
Rusila Noor of Wetlands Indonesia (March); and "ecology and conservation
of White-winged Wood-duck" by Wilson Novarino (Yayasan Padang Biological
Club) and Iwan Setiawan (of PILI).

An official national Birdlist.

Under the leadership of Wishnu Sukmantoro and Nev Kemp, IdOU has
embarked on preparing an updated official national birdlist "Birds of
Indonesia, Kukila Checklist No 2". This ambitious undertaking will
collate new data on the birds of Indonesia, including the conservation
status of birds, and deliberation of species concepts of relevance to
the Indonesian checklist.

Members of IdOU also shared their knowledge through review of Indonesian
species lists, hosted by Indonesian Institute of Sciences
(LIPI)(January).  In a more voluntary way, the members further
contributed their expertise of the conservation management and release
plans for the critically endangered Bali Starling (February).

Young Indonesian ornithologists at conferences.

One of the most impressive activities noted by Indonesian
Ornithologists' Union (and Raptor Indonesia) was the "4th ARRCN
Symposium" in Taiping, Malaysia (28-31 October, 2005).  More than a
dozen Ornithologists from Indonesia participated.  "This is the first
large groups of Indonesian ornithologists that I have seen take part in
an international symposium", Adam Supriatna of PILI said.  Colleagues
from other countries were reportedly equally impressed with the young
age, and dedication of the Indonesian ornithologists. Indonesian Raptor
Research and Conservation Network (RAIN) has also been offered to host a
joint international raptor symposium between the Raptor Research
Foundation and Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network in 2010.
An international recognition of the effort of Indonesians in this field,
if it is accepted!

Bird Flu

IdOU also contributed to the avian influenza research and information
management in Indonesia.  The endeavour started with press releases in
collaboration with BirdLife Indonesia, highlighting the notion that
although H5N1 virus has been found in paleartic migrants, there is no
evidence that the migrants serve as important carrier responsible for
the virus spread, and the notion that the migrants may be victims
instead, should be investigated. IdOU participated in the media
gathering organized by BirdLife Indonesia and held at Gedung Suara
Pembaruan, Jakarta, 11th October, 2005.

Several opinion articles by Yus Rusila Noor and Wishnu Sukamantoro
(independently) dispelled the myth of the role of migrants in  spreading
the AI virus  found their ways to the national newspapers.

In developing its commitments with AI research, IdOU (and PILI) have
engaged with FAO, WHO and US Naval Medical Research Unit-2. Currently
IdOU is discussing with NAMRU-2 probable development and implementation
of a monitoring pilot to investigate the prevalence of viruses across
the likely suites of migrants, human commensals, and poultry.  The
research will be undertaken under the longer term framework, namely to
establish a country wide system for survellience and monitoring of AI

Yayasan Kutilang (a national NGO), who pioneered a field monitoring
scheme, will take the lead and develop a small task force that will seek
to expand their capacities by further recruiting interested and capable
Indonesian ornithologists.  The task force will be led by Lim Win Sei as
field coordinator and advised by Ige Kristanto and Iwan Setiawan.  In
appreciation of the importance of the research, I have agreed to serve
as technical assistant, (or perhaps project leader) as needed.  The
project is expected to focus in south and north coasts of Central Jawa,
and designed for one year subject to funding.  Its expected field costs
is between USD 3000-4000 per month, and NAMRU has moved further to
provide in kind contribution such as equipment and training.  Equipment
and expertise has also been made by Wildlife Rescue Centers Network,
Raptor Indonesia, and Biology Dept. Universitas Andalas (Padang,


Challenges remain, unfortunately relating of the core businesses of
IdOU, namely the publication for Kukila - Bulletin of the Indonesian
Ornithological Union.  With the death of Derek Holmes, the current
available capacities are still struggling to publish the journal on
time, with the latest (volume thirteen) dated as far back as July 2003.
Please accept our apologies for this delay. Hopefully in the beginning
of 2006, this matter will be resolved internally.

Emerging Ornithologists.

The great news is that ornithological leaderships continues to develop
in Indonesia. For instance,  Wishnu Sukmantoro and  Adam Supriatna
maintains the Raptor Indonesia Network, whereas the record of raptor
field work continues to be held by Zaini Rahman and Usep Suparman.
Decentralized activities portayed strongly in the current trends.  In
South Sumatera, Mr. Muhammad Iqbal continues his field work in his
native province, and dilligently write his findings to ornithological
bulletins to become possibly the most productive writing ornithologist
this year.

In West Jawa, younger ornithologists based at the national NGOs of
BICONS and YPAL continue to combine field research with local
conservation education. The Javan Hawk Eagle at Gede Pangrango have been
watched by Usep Suparman, for many years. In Central Jawa, Mr. Lim Sin
Wei and his colleagues at national NGO Yayasan Kutilang maintain their
watch of Black Eagles at Mount Merapi, Yogyakarta, and has even moved to
longer term protection and management at landscape level.

Shorebird monitoring

In East Jawa, Iwan Londo continues his private multi-years endeavour
studying the shorebirds. There are also many excellent ornithologists
from Sulawesi and Papua, but their activities this year have not been
well known.

It is encouraging that Indonesia's chief ornithologist for close to four
decades, Prof. Somadikarta remains close, keeps his watch on qualities
of scientific products, and freely continues to make available his
unique expertise to the union.

The interesting trend is that identified younger Indonesian
ornithologists whom achieved milestones may vary from year to year. This
indicates great potential for development, and at the same time the
challenges for the ornithologists to sustain their performances
throughout the years.


Finally, IdOU would like to thank our sponsors.

PILI-NGO Movement and the Gibbon Foundation continue to provide primary
support.  The IdOU seminar was sponsored by the Conservation and
Research Training Center /The Nature Conservancy-Indonesia (attn: Bas
van Helvoort), as well as JICA - PHKA Gunung Halimun Salak National Park
Management Project (attn: Kanerori Miura and Hiroshi Kobayashi).  "The
Birds of Indonesia: Kukila Checklist No 2" received generous funding
from the Oriental Bird Club - Bertram Smythies Funds through Brian

For Avian Influenza research, thanks are due to US NAMRU and WHO.

This summary being concluded I would like to wish you all the best with
2006 and may the New Year bring even better tidings to you and your


Didi M. Indrawan

IdOU Representative

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