Photos: Rare Aquatic Species of Indonesia Facebook

Indonesia: Beached creature ‘Whale, not Dolphin’
By N. Adri, 15th July 2016;

A team dispatched by the Rare Aquatic Species Indonesia (RASI) Conservation Foundation has confirmed that a sea creature found dead on Mangempang Beach in Muara Badak district, East Kalimantan, last week was not an Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), or pesut, as previously reported. “It was a Dwarf Sperm Whale, also known as Kogia sima,” RASI researcher Danielle Kreb told journalists on Thursday.

After a thorough examination, the RASI researcher team was certain that the female Dwarf Sperm Whale was attacked and killed by a Cookiecutter Shark (Isistius brasiliensis), also known as a Cigar Shark. Although it is relatively small, only around 60 centimeters in length, the shark has extremely sharp teeth.

“Old wounds on the Whale’s body showed it was probably attacked by a Shark. The Whale came to the surface of the sea because of its severe wounds before becoming stranded on Mangempang Beach,” said Kreb.

She further explained that Dwarf Sperm Whales lived in deep-sea waters and ate squid, octopus and cuttlefish. It is quite difficult to find a Dwarf Sperm Whale because of its silent movement, she added.

“Most research reports on Dwarf Sperm Whales are obtained from beached whales like what we’ve seen here,” said Kreb.

As reported earlier, a pregnant cetacean initially identified as an Irrawaddy Dolphin was found dead on Mangempang Beach, Muara Badak district, Kutai Kartanegara. Muara Badak resident Saidah reported the beached Dolphin, which finally turned out to be a Dwarf Sperm Whale, to the Indonesian Navy post in Marangkayu on July 7.

“We later removed it to our post for a further examination,” said the post’s commander, Second Lieut. Karel Setiawan. Several old wounds, initially suspected to be caused by the propellers of boats plying the Pangempang River, one of the Mahakam River’s tributaries, were found on the animal.

Kreb said the conservation status of Dwarf Sperm Whales in Indonesia could not be determined given the lack of information on the species. However, mammal researchers agree that Dwarf Sperm Whales live in almost all open waters across the world. They can be found in the northernmost waters of Japan to the southernmost ocean of Australia.

Source: Jakarta Post

Photos: Septy Adji, shared to Save The Mahakam Dolphin Facebook Group

Indonesia: 2 Irrawaddy Dolphins die in East Kalimantan
By N. Adri, 14th July 2016;

Conservation activists are calling for a more concerted effort to protect the habitat of Irrawaddy Dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris), or pesut, in Mahakam River in East Kalimantan after two of the protected species were found dead, thought to be as a result of widespread environmental problems.

Save Mahakam Pesut Community activist Innal Rahman said the Mahakam pesut was a protected species as it was critically endangered. The population of Mahakam pesut now numbers only 87 individual animals, down from 96 recorded last year.

The first Dolphin was found dead in Kutai Kartanegara regency on July 3. It was suspected that the female Dolphin died four days before it was found by local residents traveling on the river.

“We saw it stranded near a coal stockpile of coal company PT Morris,” said Rahman, who spotted the Dolphin at the location. At 233 centimeters in length and a body circumference of 128 cm, it is believed the Dolphin was fully mature.

On July 7 a pregnant Dolphin (Actually, it was a Dwarf Sperm Whale) was found dead on nearby Mangempang Beach. Muara Badak resident, Saidah, reported the beached Dolphin to the Navy.

“We later removed it to our post for a further examination,” said the post’s commander Second Lieut. Karel Setiawan. Several old wounds, possibly caused by the propellers of boats using the Pangempang River, one of the Mahakam River’s tributaries, were found on the Dolphin’s body.

There are human settlements, coal stockpiles and oil palm plantations built along the Mahakam River and its tributaries. “Dolphins are a sensitive species. Noise caused by boat engines cause them to lose direction, disrupting their efforts in foraging for food,” said Danielle Kreb, a researcher at the Rare Aquatic Species Indonesia Conservation Foundation in Samarinda.

Source: Jakarta Post

The carcass found on July 7 was actually a Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima).

After the earlier news about a presumed stranded Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) and its unborn foetus on Panempang beach, Mahakam delta, Mas Buono (RASI) together with Septy Adji n Innal Rahman (Save Mahakam), Ricky (BPSPl satker) Balikpapan went to the location on 11 July to re-check the Dolphin species and tried to get a better idea as to the cause of death and collect a sample. After discussion with local residents, the cause of death was determined to be likely due to serious wounds inflicted by Cookiecutter Sharks (Isistius brasiliensis). Also based on the pictures the species was re-identified as a Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima). This species usually inhabits deep water where its main prey are cephalopods. The reason for being in the shallow delta was likely due to the fact that the animal was wounded.

Source: Rare Aquatic Species of Indonesia Facebook

The previous post (9 July) on the stranding at Pangempang Beach, Mahakam River, East Kalimantan needs to be revised. The species is now positively identified as Dwarf Sperm Whale with the Cookiecutter Shark bite as the possible circumstances of death. The Kogia was pregnant (calf photo inserted) Field team consisted of RASI, Save the Mahakam Dolphin and BPSPL Satker Balikpapan. News and photos: Danielle Kreb.

Source: Whale Strandings Indonesia Facebook

Photos of what is likely to be the same Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) carcass reported near Rantau Hempan, East Kalimantan.

Source: Septy Adji, shared to Save The Mahakam Dolphin Facebook Group

Sad news from Mahakam: on 7 July the team from Save The Mahakam Dolphin got info on a code 4 Pesut (Irrawaddy) Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) that stranded near Rantau Hempang. The team went to the location at 23:00 and took pictures and measurements of the adult female with total body length 223 cm. No necropsy could be performed and the cause of death remains unclear as no obvious wounds were noticed. The plan is to take more pictures in daylight from different angles. The head appeared blackish and if anyone with vet experience can tell whether this usually occurs pre or post mortem please inform us. Thanks.

Source: Danielle Kreb, shared on Rare Aquatic Species of Indonesia Facebook Group

To get to Wehea forest, PROFAUNA’s activists have to pass Kelay forest where carcasses of wild animals struck by palm oil trucks are a common sight. Often times our activists stopped and buried the remains to prevent people from taking advantage of the remaining body parts. So sad!

Source: ProFauna Facebook, via ProFauna Indonesia Facebook

Indonesia: Proboscis Monkey killers arrested: We ate the Monkey
By ProFauna, 15th June 2016;

Remember the photo featuring six young men from West Kalimantan holding a Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus)? They have been have been put in custody, and we know now that they are working for a timber company in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

These information was obtained after the Head of West Kalimantan Nature Conservation Agency (BKSDA), Sustyo Iriono, conducted an investigation following the viral photo. After checking on to the suspects’ homes in Sambas, West Kalimantan, turned out that they are currently working for a timber company in East Kalimantan.

According to Sustyo, on Tuesday (13/6/2016), BKSDA in East Kalimantan has made an arrest of the six men based on the information collected by Sustyo’s team.

“On around 11 a.m. (local time), suspects of the Proboscis Monkey killing have been arrested. They admitted the misconduct, and also said that they have eaten the Monkey after posting the photo on Facebook,” said Sustyo.

The suspects were arrested by the joint team of BKSDA and The Ministy of Environment and Forestry’s Law Enforcement Division of Kalimantan in the timber company in Senoni, Lebak Silong village, Sebuluh district, Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan.

“They were brought in for questioning and further investigation by the SPORC, and we are coordinating with the police department and district court about this case. The evidence we have now are only their cellphones and weapons,” added Sustyo.

The six men are Adam (in the photo, the one wearing black hat and also the one who uploaded the photo), Apri (shirtless, red pants), Ato (white t-shirt, blue pants), Inal (green t-shirt), Intat (shirtless, black pants), and Bayong (white-stripped jacket), all come from the same neighborhood in West Kalimantan.

Source: ProFauna