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Diversity of Avifauna (Birds) in the PT WBPU

Forests are one of the most valuable ecosystems on the face of the earth. In it there is a very diverse range of life, including avifauna or birds which play an important role in maintaining the balance of nature. Avifauna diversity not only provides the charm of natural beauty, but also has enormous benefits for the environment and humans.

PT Wana Bakti Persada Utama (WBPU) in September 2023, updated its inventory data related to biodiversity in the company's concession area located in the Wehea Kelay Landscape, and one of the things that was also researched was the number of avifauna or birds. PT WBPU in this inventory activity collaborated with the National Innovation Research Agency (BRIN) for Wildlife Ecology.

In observations using a 20 km transect approach (straight) carried out by PT WPBU together with BRIN, around 300 bird species were found in the PT WBPU concession area.

Researcher in the Wildlife Ecology Division of the BRIN Applied Zoology Research Center, Muklisi, who served as an avifauna researcher in this inventory activity, explained that avifauna diversity can be an indicator of environmental health. Changes in bird populations can signal broader changes in forest ecosystems.

"In the activity of updating biodiversity inventory data in the PT WBPU concession area, around 70% of the hornbill species found in the Greater Sunda region (Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java, Sulawesi) can be found in the PT WBPU concession area. Apart from that, there are also other types of birds such as the Pita/Paok bird (Hydrornis guajanus), the Kuau bird (Argusianus Argus), and many other types. This can certainly be supporting data for PT WBPU in carrying out sustainable forest management in their concession areas," explained Muklisi.

Apart from being an indicator of environmental health, avifauna/bird diversity plays other important roles, including in plant pollination and seed dispersal. Some bird species, such as hummingbirds and honey birds, help in pollinating the flowers that produce fruit and seeds. Meanwhile, passerine birds help spread plant seeds around the forest when they feed on fruit.

Then most insectivorous birds help control pest populations that can harm crops and forests. They are natural predators of insects that can damage plants. Thus, the presence of these birds helps maintain the balance of the forest ecosystem.

Apart from that, the diversity of avifauna/birds also provides benefits, namely.

  1. Ecotourism: The diversity of avifauna is the main attraction in ecotourism. Many people from various parts of the world come to observe endemic or rare birds in their natural habitat. This ecotourism provides a significant economic contribution to local communities and strengthens awareness of the importance of preserving forests.
  2. Medicine Development: Many plants that depend on pollination by certain birds have potential in the development of medicines. Therefore, by preserving the diversity of the avifauna, we also preserve the potential for valuable natural medicines.
  3. Education and Research: The diversity of avifauna is also an invaluable source of knowledge. The study of bird behavior, migration and ecology provides new insights into the functioning of forest ecosystems and can open the door to further research in various fields of science.

PT WBPU understands the importance of avifauna diversity in the forest and the benefits resulting from its existence. From the results of this research we are reminded to protect and preserve the environment. Forest conservation efforts and efforts to protect the avifauna are not only in our interests today, but also for future generations.

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