Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - The existence of at least 12 species of mammals in the Mount Merapi National Park (TNGM) is threatened due to volcanic activities of Mt Merapi, located between Yogyakarta and Central Java.

"By using many trap cameras, it is found that there are 12 types of mammals (in TNGM), 10 of which are land mammals. Most are long-tailed macaques, antelopes, hedgehogs, and mongooses," a student pursuing a forestry doctoral degree at Gadjah Mada University (UGM), Nurpana Sulaksono, stated here on Tuesday.

The types of mammals found in the TNGM area also include lutung (langurs), wild boars, anteaters, forest wild cats, biul (ferret-badger), rase (small Indian civet), and flying squirrels.

According to Sulaksono, the time-to-time volcanic eruptions have threatened the existence of wildlife in the Mt. Merapi area.

However, he also highlighted human activities that cause disturbance to wildlife, such as excessive grass harvesting, mining, and tourism activities in the region.

In his dissertation titled "Response of terrestrial mammals to various types of disturbance in the Gunung Merapi National Park, Indonesia," medium- and large-sized mammals, such as macaques and langurs or antelopes, tended to avoid and stay away from areas where disturbances occur, such as settlements and mining areas.

"The animals tend to live in small covered areas and away from residential and mining areas, and they like to live in higher land," he stated.

He said forest wild cats have the widest habitat in TNGM, with an area extending five thousand hectares, both within and outside the TNGM area, followed by mongooses in a habitat spanning 4,700 hectares, and three thousand hectares of antelope habitat.

However, he added, the habitat of antelopes was currently experiencing fragmentation due to Mt Merapi's eruptions and human activities.

The antelope habitat is located in the north and south of Mt Merapi.

"The (antelope) population connection between (Mt Merapi's) northern and southern areas is cut off, which will have an impact on the area's preservation," he stated.

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Translator: Luqman H, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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