Making the Monkey: How the Togean Macaque Went from "New Form" to "Endemic Species" in Indonesians' Conservation Biology:

Celia Lowe

Indonesian scientists inhabit a postcolonial world where they are both elite (within the nation) and subaltern (within transnational science) at precisely the same moments. A study of science that is neither "ethno" nor "Euro" requires a postcolonial refiguration not only of how science's matter is made but of where and by whom. In the 1990s, the Togean macaque (Macaca togeanus) was proposed as a new species endemic to the Togean Islands, the proposed site of a new conservation area in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. In the scientific production of biodiverse nature, Indonesian primatologists identified the monkey first as a "new form," then as a "dubious name," and subsequently, as an "endemic species." Throughout these acts of making, unmaking, and remaking the monkey, its unique and endemic status was important for developing Indonesian conservation biology, attracting foreign donors, and enlisting government and public interest in Togean Island nature, even as forms of nature important to Togean peoples were overwritten in this process.

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