Student Internship Experience: Getting to Know One of the Conservation, Protection Activities


Foto bersama sebelum keberangkatan

Millennial generation is less involved in work related to saving wildlife in Indonesia. Therefore the Tropical Forest Conservation Action (TFCA), initiated a group of young people who have concern and commitment to participate in wildlife conservation as volunteers or professionals supported by adequate knowledge and skills called WILDLIFE WARRIOR (WW).

This activity aims to improve and sharpen the understanding of concepts and practices of various aspects of theory and implementation of efforts to protect and save wildlife, especially key animals with high extinction rates, such as the Sumatran Rhinoceros.

TFCA then selected apprentices in three provinces (Jambi, Padang and Lampung) to be given internship opportunities at partner institutions engaged in the issue of saving animals, one of which was the Indonesian Rhinoceros Foundation (YABI). WW interns who were placed in YABI were me, the writer, Yessi Marcellya Nasution (Faculty of Forestry, Muhammadiyah University, West Sumatra) and two of my friends, Yuni Khairunnisa and Nenti Yasni Putri Ayu from the Faculty of Agriculture, Andalas University.

For two months, from January to March 2020, we were given the opportunity to get to know one of the conservation activities carried out by YABI; Protection, in Way Kambas Rhino Protection Unit (RPU), Lampung. We actively participated in patrol activities and RPU monitoring surveys 8 times, 4 patrol trips and 4 preventive patrols, with a total security area of 3 Sections with 9 resorts including, Margahayu, Kuala Penet, Way Kanan, Sekapuk, Rawa Bunder, Toto Projo , Susukan Baru, Cabang and Umbul Salam, almost all of the resorts in Way Kambas National Park.

During patrol activities we take part in securing illegal actions in areas such as throwing snares, bird snares, fish traps, etc. We also ran into three illegal fishing players in the area. Together with the head of the forest police unit and other RPU members we recorded the perpetrators, secured the evidence and gave directions so that the perpetrators would not repeat it. This is something we had never imagined before.

In addition to patrolling, we are also taught how to identify secondary signs of animal presence by surveying traces, scratches, friction, used food, pools, scrubs and animal waste. Recording signs of the presence of other animals is important in order to find out the slices of the relationship between one animal and another animal. While in the field we were also given the knowledge of identification of rhino favorite feed species such as Kiteja-Machilus rimosa, and Plangas-Antidesma neurocarpum.

We are also actively involved in habitat restoration activities, with the main objective of growing rhino feed to meet the needs of rhino feed in the Sanctuary Rhino Sumatera (Sanctuary), at Rawa Kijang Resort Margahayu.

In addition, we were also given the opportunity to discuss with veterinarians and SRS managers, so that we know the pattern of rhino daily activities in captivity, what treatment is done so that the rhino remains healthy, and can meet directly this rare animal.

The two-month internship experience at RPU-YABI is one of our most valuable experiences. At RPU we learned that security is one of the most important aspects that is at the forefront in wildlife conservation. Protecting the area from the slightest illegal activity means preserving animals.

We strongly support efforts to conserve habitat and Sumatran rhino conservation by YABI in supporting the Indonesian government’s emergency efforts to save the Sumatran Rhino species, and with all the knowledge we gained during the internship, we hope that this internship program can continue so that it can educate more people, so wildlife can be maintained for the next generation.

We would also like to thank our YABI friends who not only taught us the importance of protecting the area and wildlife, but also warmly welcomed us for two months as family.

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