Our Latest Program
Removing Crown of Thorns
A major cleanup of the coral-eating starfish known as Crown of Thorns (Acanthaster planci) has been carried out by Togean Conservation Foundation at 22 popular snorkelling and reef sites across the Togean Islands in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Supported by several local resorts, international and local volunteers as well as Togean Islands National Park, Togean Conservation Foundation, which was founded in December 2018, managed to manually collect 8511 starfish over three weeks around popular dive and snorkeling sites of Una-Una, Kadidiri and Malenge.
Where are Togean Islands?
The Togean Islands archipelago, labeled the ‘Jewel of Central Sulawesi’, is located in the centre of Tomini bay, stretching over a distance of about 90 km. This archipelago contains 66 islands and islets of which Una Una, Batudaka, Togean, Talatakoh, Waleakodi, Waleabahi and Malenge are the largest. The land area of the Togeans covers 755 km2 and mainly consists of hilly terrain with a maximum elevation of 354m. The name of the Regency in which Togeans is located is Tojo Una-Una which includes the mainland town of Ampana and surrounding areas.
Six main ethnic groups, Bajau, Bobongko, Togean, Saluan, Bugis, and Gorontalese, live side by side in 59 villages. The total population is almost 50,000. While the Bajau community relies almost solely on trading fish, octopus, and sea cucumber, most villages are also engaged in some form of farming, primarily coconut, clove, and patchouli. Tourism provides significant employment opportunities. The entire population depends heavily on the sea for their own food.
The forests, mangroves, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs support a rich array of flora and fauna including many rare and endemic species. Six species found in Togeans are critically endangered, 23 are endangered, 171 are vulnerable and a further 131 are near threatened.