Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – As many as 30 Javanese porcupines (Hystrix javanica) were released to the Mount Merbabu National Park in Central Java’s regency of Boyolali, Indonesia on Tuesday (Nov 12).
The activity took place as part of the commemoration of the 2019 National Wildlife Day, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) reported the event on its website as quoted by Indonesia Window here on Wednesday.
“This activity is a collaboration between the Indonesian Institute of Sciences and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry on the conservation of wild plants and animals,” Head of LIPI’s Biology Research Center Atit Kanti said.
The Javanese porcupines were released to three different locations in Central Java, namely Candilaras and Mongkrong in Boyolali, and Pakis in Magelang.
“This activity has been organized for the third time and is a mandatory research program regarding conservation,” Head of Zoology at LIPI’s Biology Research Center Cahyo Rahmadi said.
Meanwhile, a zoologist researcher at LIPI’s Biology Research Center, Nurul Inayah explained that Javanese porcupines are protected animals in Indonesia.
“Javanese porcupines are herbivore and have an ecological role as seed dispersers,” she noted.
According to her, the behaviour of Javanese porcupines in digging up the soil can increase aeration (the process of adding air or oxygen in water by carrying water and air) in soil and water penetration in the vicinity of environment.
Research on Javanese porcupines by LIPI’s Biology Research Center has been carried out for ten years, covering aspects of behaviours, nutrition, anatomy-physiology, and its reproduction.
“During the period of research at least 100 individuals of the second generation of Javanese porcupines have been generated,” Inayah said.
Food habituation in captivity is also carried out to make released porcupines able to adjust themselves to natural foods in the wild.
“During the food habituation process, researchers also conducted health checking and observation on the behaviour of Javanese porcupines,” Inayah said.
Reporting by Indonesia Window