Written by Isna Windi Astari

Since I was a teenager, I have loved reading and keeping up with news and information through National Geographic magazine. My interest in nature is getting stronger as I get older. I started to join the youth community concerned about the environment and build relationships with people who share the same interest in environmental issues. Meanwhile, my study background is in library science.

Even though my study background is not related to natural sciences, this has not discouraged me from studying the biodiversity that exists in nature. Entering the early days of college, I followed the agenda of a non-governmental organization in Indonesia. In the opportunity given by their community, I wrote a paper on hydroponic development strategies for densely populated areas.

After completing the first project, I realized I am more interested in flora and fauna. My first nature exploration trip took place at Mount Tugel, Kulon Progo. I started exploring the forest with my classmate, Berliana.

We started the steps and learned to recognize the plants in the forest, especially the tropical forests of Indonesia. We are also very interested in fauna nusantara. One of the faunas that made me interested in studying is the macaque monkey.

The macaque monkey itself is a primate that is spread throughout Southeast Asia. But I  regret one thing, the existence of macaque monkeys in Indonesia is decreasing in wild nature from year to year. In Indonesia, many macaque monkeys are hunted by irresponsible persons.

Some influencers even openly keep macaque monkeys in their homes. Possession of macaque monkeys is not yet considered illegal in Indonesia and there is no law that specifically regulates it. Even more worrying, sometimes these macaque monkeys are exploited to become a commercial commodity. Macaque monkeys are widely exhibited for entertainment in residential areas to city parks.

I will be very happy if Indonesian people start to realize the importance of this issue. Actually, this monkey has a natural habitat in the wild. As people who care about the environment, we should understand that the existence of these monkeys in nature can decrease if they are continuously exploited and traded. We have to realize that macaque monkeys are not pets.

For more of Isna, check out @isnawindi on Instagram