We are Selamatkan Yaki (Indonesian for ‘Save the Sulawesi crested black macaques’), a research, conservation and education programme focused on a charismatic black macaque species, known as the yaki (Macaca nigra).
Sadly, these endemic primates have had massive population declines, with estimates as high as 80% within the last 40 years and are now Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and even appear on the Top 25 most endangered primates list. Read more about the yaki and their threats here.
Through the collaboration between national and international stakeholders, we have built a solid foundation for the conservation of this unique species. These include local communities, NGOs, the tourism industry, the media, scientists, politicians and government officials amongst others. Raising awareness and fostering positive attitudes towards wildlife represents the first steps towards positive behavioural change, the central motivation of our programme. This includes sharing information and local knowledge with local communities, government bodies and universities in the form of participatory events, conservation forums, distribution of education materials and creating ambassadors for the yaki – role models for social change. The species is steadily becoming recognised with pride as a valuable flagship, highlighting the diversity of the flora and fauna in North Sulawesi.
Established in 2007 by the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust in the United Kingdom and the Pacific Institute in Indonesia, Selamatkan Yaki is focused on preserving a self-sustaining population of yaki across its range, thus conserving sympatric biodiversity. Working closely with partners both in the field and abroad has led to the identification of the threats which the current population of M. nigra is facing. The results of this collaborative effort have been essential to the production of a Species Action Plan, an evidence-based strategy for the conservation of the species and which all of our long-term strategies are based upon. Our holistic programme comprises research, education, protected area management and sustainable development including sustainable livelihood approaches.
Macaca nigra flourish as self-sustaining populations in their native and non-native habitat within healthy, balanced and well-protected ecosystems and are recognised as a symbol of local and national pride.
To ensure self-sustaining populations of Macaca nigra are in their native habitat through reduction of threats, protection of habitat and connectivity between populations. To facilitate behaviour change in people throughout Indonesia, particularly in Sulawesi, by being made aware of the ecological and cultural importance of M. nigra and creating the conditions for social change.