Two Alien Giant Clam Species found in Sulawesi, Waiting for Scientific Confirmation
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Konawe – Two alien giant clam species were found in Southeast Sulawesi waters. If verified, Indonesia will be the only country that has all 9 species of giant clams in the world.
The two alien species are Tridacna tevoroa and Tridacna rosewateri. Both were identified by the Toli-Toli Giant Clam Sea Park Conservation independent group in Lalonggasumeeto subdistrict, Konawe, Southeast Sulawesi.
Other giant clam species known to be native in Indonesia waters are Tridacna gigas, T maxima, T derasa, T squamosa, T crocea, Hippopus hippopus, and Hippopus porcellanus. These 7 species are listed as protected by the government through regulation (PP) No. 7 Year 1999.
“Actually, we’ve discovered the presence of these 2 species since starting our conservation activities a year ago. At first we thought the clams were of native species, but after close examination, we noticed they had different physical features,” said Chairman of Toli-Toli Giant Clam Sea Park Conservation, Habib Nadjar Buduha on Sunday (3/7/2011).
After searching various internet sources and scientific marine publications, they concluded that the clams fit the description of Tridacna tevoroa and Tridacna rosewateri. So far, T tevoroa is only found in Fiji Islands and Tonga in the Pacific, while T. rosewateri is only found in Mauritius and Madagascar. It is still unknown how these clams arrived in Sulawesi waters.
This finding is still awaiting scientific verification from the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), as the authorized national body, and encouragement for its protection status.
“The authorized and competent body to verify these two giant clam species is LIPI,” said Forest Ecosystem Control official from the Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Southeast Sulawesi, Priehanto, on Tuesday (5/7).
Giant clams are marine bivalves that could grow up to 1.3 meters and weigh up to 250 kilograms. Giant clams are endangered species, threatened by humans hunting it for consumption and its shell. (Tri Wahono|ENG)
Source : Kompas (edited & merged)