Happy New Year :)

Hello dear followers!

The whole Selamatkan Yaki team wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy new year! We hope you had a really good celebration time and you are ready for a new year 🙂

Here we had a really nice and hot Christmas, although it was raining most of the time but nothing strange there since it is the rainy season at the moment. Every one celebrates Christmas in Minahasa and it is not only the crested black macaque’s home, but as well a major Christian area where you can really feel the western influence with all the fairy lights, Christmas trees and fireworks everywhere! The main difference between Christmas celebrations in Indonesia and in the West is the lack of present offering which is making this culture unique and allows it to be a bit more focussed on family gathering rather than on mass consumption. Another interesting point is that although the Indonesian population is around 90% Muslim, Christmas is still a national public holiday.

SOSWhile it has been a really good celebration time for us we haven’t been far away from work and we had the pleasure to welcome Save Our Species (SOS) director Jean-Christophe Vié and his partner Emna to North Sulawesi. SOS is a major conservation fund which is part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This fund, based in Switzerland, allows many conservation NGOs spread all over the globe to implement essential conservation projects such as our Tangkoko Rejuvenation Project in North Sulawesi. Not only providing important financial support, being part of the IUCN SOS is able to provide expert knowledge and support on conservation issues for developing programmes like ours.

We spent an enjoyable few days in the beautiful Tangkoko nature reserve. We didn’t lose time and went in the jungle as soon as we arrived to admire a really curious primate, the tarsier. The following morning we started at 5.30am and it took us more than an hour to track down the macaques who were having fun in their natural playground: the jungle. At the moment and for about a month it is the mango fruiting season in the region. It provides a lot of easy reachable food for the macaques and allows them to have more resting and playing times. We spent two hours with these majestic and charismatic animals, who sadly could disappear forever if nothing would be done to mitigate their threats. It was like always awesome to be in the field but it also enabled us to go through our strategy for the next two years with Jean-Christophe. He provided us a lot of knowledgeable advice and feedback on the present situation of the reserve from an external point view. We wish to thank him a lot for that, for selecting our programme for support and for the confidence he puts into us.

We are all really excited to start implementing our different projects and we are sure that 2013 will be rich in new experiences… little by little we will help to facilitate positive local mentalities and reduce pressures on the species to help save the beautiful crested black macaques and their environment!

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