About the Ciliwung Herpetarium
As part of the Indonesia Herpetofauna Foundation, we run a small herpetarium (Ciliwung Herpetarium, previously known as the Ciliwung Reptile Center), mainly to serve as an educational facility for the public. In 2015, local villagers Mrs. Canih and Mr. Iwan, from Gelonggong Village offered their house to be used as our "basecamp" to run our conservation projects.
At the moment, the herpetarium is still based in this house. We do not charge admission to enter.
Since 2018, we have rented 2 rooms; one to serve as an off-show and quarantine area, and the other as a volunteer house.
Apart from being an educational facility, the herpetarium also serves as a laboratory to conduct studies on animal ecology and behaviour, which cannot be done in the wild. It also serves as a temporary holding space for animals which have been rescued from conflict with humans (e.g. a snake which has been removed from someone's kitchen) before being released.
Education: The herpetarium aims to educate visitors on conservation, especially regarding herpetofauna. Each live animal on display at the herpetarium tells a story and has an educational value. The educational value of the herpetarium was carefully planned and is currently undergoing improvements.
In order to convey information and conservation messages to the general public, we try to make our signage easily understood for the public. Essentially this means that anyone from all ages and backgrounds will be able to understand what we are trying to say. To do this, we have as little text as possible, and a lot of pictures and cartoons which tell a story. At the moment, we are working on creating interactive signage, to make learning about animals and conservation more interesting and fun.
Aside from the herpetarium as an educational facility, in 2019 we hope to improve our outreach projects, to educate the public and raise awareness about nature conservation. The module and methods are currently being planned by our education team.
Whenever possible, we will organize workshops and events for conservationists/biologists in Indonesia, in order to increase their skill, knowledge and network, especially regarding herpetology and conservation.
Social media is a very effective tool for spreading information and raising awareness, therefore our education team has created an editorial calendar for social media posts, in which we carefully think about the educational value of each post and schedule them strategically.
As we have always done, we will continue to conduct educational talks and presentations in schools, villages, and other public communities, to educate people about conservation.
Human-Animal Conflict Management:
During our education and outreach programs, we advise on what to do when people encounter a snake. Should they find one in their house, they are able to call us and we will remove it for them whenever possible. The snakes will then be held in quarantine before being released into suitable habitat after habitat assessments and health check.
At the moment, we are unable to rehabilitate and monitor the animals after release, however we plan to do so in the future if it is possible. We have planned a collaboration with Halimun Salak National Park in West Java to potentially rehabilitate and release animals within the National Park.