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DAAD-SEARCA Alumnus shares Ecotourism Program on Timor Deer

Published on 31 August 2021 KC3 News

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Dr. Daud Samsudewa, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Animal and Agricultural Sciences, Universitas Diponegoro, Indonesia, was invited as a speaker for the NRCP Division IV Technical Webinar Series #3 on 30 July 2021 via Zoom. The Department of Science and Technology-National Research Council of the Philippines (DOST-NRCP) organized the said webinar.

Dr. Samsudewa presented the “Development of Timor Deer (Rusa timorensis) as part of an Ecotourism Program.” He started the DEER Conservation Program during his doctoral studies at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). Dr. Samsudewa’s goal is to support the development of Timor deer in Indonesia and address its low population rate caused by forest degradation, loss of habitat, unsuccessful conservation, and unsustainable programs.

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DEER stands for Demonstration Plot, Enhancing Research, Extension, and Reintroduction.Demonstration Plot refers to the registered captive breeding facilities which assist in the conservation and utilization of Timor deer through recording via registration numbers, pedigree, and deer certifications. A certified Timor deer can increase its price by up to two to three times the standard cost of every live animal and deer meat. In terms of Enhancing Research, the program supports artificial insemination, conversion of the Timor deer’s non-edible parts to multivitamin capsules and handicrafts, and the marketing of venison and velvet. 

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The Extension arm of the DEER program includes ecotourism activities such as in Margorejo Village, Dawe District, Indonesia. Part of this initiative is the “Edu-tourism activity” designed for the students’ holistic learning about Timor deer, plants, fruit, fish, and teamwork. With the success of the Ecotourism program, Dr. Samsudewa’s team created the online “Edu-agritourism” to address the physical restrictions brought by the pandemic. It has an Edu-agritourism app that provides a QR code to connect the user to the Margorejo Tourism Community website. It contains all the information discussed in the physical edu-tourism activity. Besides learning activities, another extension project of the DEER program is the production of the Timor deer satay. 

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The Reintroduction part of the program involves sending the Timor deer back to its natural habitat. However, this is still undergoing discussions with the Natural Resources Conservation Office of Central Java Indonesia, Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources. There is a need to secure first a place for the reintroduction to ensure that the Timor deer will have a good chance at survival.

Dr. Daud Samsudewa is a recipient of the DAAD-SEARCA Scholarship from 2009 to 2012. He received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Animal Science at UPLB.

Source: SEARCA 3 August 2021