Home / Aktivitas / Penelitian Konservasi Serangga dan Keanekaragaman Hayati / WHITLEY REPORT 2006/2007 TRADE OF LUCANID BEETLES IN MOUNT SALAK


Lucanids beetles play a very important role in forest ecosystem and a crucial element of biodiversity. The existency of lucanid beetle plays a vital role in forest ecosystem especially in maintaining the stability and equilibrium of forest food web. Some beetles remove other animal’s dung from the environment by feeding on it or by using it to feed and house their newly-laid eggs. Some beetles pollinate plants, and some are effective biocontrol agents, preying on plant-eating insects. Beetles may feed on other animals (carnivorus), dead or decaying animal matter (saprophagous), plants (phytophagous) or decomposing, fragmented organic matter (detriophagous).

In the case of Mount Salak, besides having vital role to the ecosystem, Lucanid beetles has a high economical value to some of the community living around the forest area of Mount Salak. Because of its attractive shape and appearances, this beetles has attracted many buyers and collectors for souvenir, toys and even for traditional medicine. Many species of beetle from Mount Salak has become trade commodity locally, nationally and even internationally with viariety of prices from thousands to million of rupiah (Indonesian currency). Because of high demand and high value, the hunting of these beetle has increased tremendously and effecting the number of beetle population in the wild. From time to time, the population of lucanid beetle in Mount Salak has decreased rapidly and will not be suprising if this species would soon become critically endangered.

Beetle’s hunting in Mount Salak also has consequences to forest degradation. To set up hunting trap (using light trap), hunters usually clear up an area of 10 x 20 m inside the forest by cutting down bushes and trees. The hunter usually stayed for about a week in one hunting site before moving to the other.   If this activites continues without any act of anticipation, soon large number of area within the forest of Mount Salak will be cleard up.


From the aspect of local community or local hunters, beetle’s hunting and trading still consider as a sensitive issue because it involves generating income for their livelihood. It is understood that some of the hunters were not opened when we try to discuss about the activity of beetle hunting. For the declining of population of beetles in Mount Salak we can not just blame the local hunters. Most of the hunters are farmer and they are categorized as poor community. For local people, they are able to provide for their family from these bangbung sales.   But hunting activities usually just become a side job to their main activities which is farming. These hunters usually don’t hunt when there is no demand or no market for them to sell.   So the key factor which contribute to the continuation of beetle hunting and trading in Mount Salak are the existence of buyer and market. If we cut down the buyer and market, we believe that the hunters will not hunt anymore.


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