University of East Anglia Taliabu expedition, Indonesia 1991

Bas Van Balen

An ornithological survey and habitat evaluation of the proposed Pulau Taliabu reserve and other primary forest areas which concentrated on the ecology of seven globally threatened bird species. Information will also be collected on the endangered Babirusa pig. The data has been used to make recommendations about the extent and management of the Taliabu reserve.

Project update: 18/2/98. This study of Taliabu island in the Sula islands off Sulawesi in eastern Indonesia targeted seven threatened bird species and the babirusa pig. Key results were: (1) the rediscovery of Taliabu Masked-owl Tyto nigrobrunnea, known only from a specimen collected in 1938 and a sighting during this expedition; (2) demonstrating that the endemic birds are still present in good numbers and are tolerant of logging activities; (3) the discovery of a distinctive montane bird community, previously undescribed from the island. Urgent follow-up action was therefore not considered necessary. The information provided a valuable input to the Asian Red Data Book and will be useful for protected areas planning for the island, and has been used by a World Bank mission in designing a proposed GEF project to fund a comprehensive protected areas network for the province of Maluku. (A. Stones in litt. 1998; R. Grimmett in litt. 1998). The only gazetted protected area in the Banggai and Sula Islands EBA (168) is the Pulau Seho Nature Reserve (12.5 km²) on Taliabu. The much larger proposed reserve of Pulau Taliabu would incorporate montane forest in the interior and lowland forest down to the northern shores (Stattersfield et al. 1998).