Our impressions of Sulawesi

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We leave the island with a bittersweet taste in our mouths: a prosperous and happy society but with no awareness that their natural treasures are gradually disappearing. This is a familiarly painful sensation. In this particular case, economic progress has converted the trade in bat meat into a dangerous road with no way back. And neither must we only worry about the bats on Sulawesi, for they are endangered on the neighbouring islands as well. We take over an hour to fly from one end of the island to the other and as we fly below us we note the succession of jungle-covered mountains that carpet the island. Perhaps not all is lost; nevertheless, as biologists we find it hard to believe that these bat populations, which reproduce so slowly, will survive so much external pressure.

Wild animals on sale: pythons, rats and pigs
Wild animals on sale: pythons, rats and pigs
Endemic macaques and domestic dogs ready for sale
Endemic macaques and domestic dogs ready for sale
Traditional fisherman in Tangkoko National Park.
Traditional fisherman in Tangkoko National Park.