Wulan Pusparini


I began my conservation effort with project on Sumatran Rhinoceros for my Bachelor degree theses at the University of Indonesia, major in Biology, 2006.

In between working for Sumatra’s iconic large mammals’ conservation, I got my Master Degree at University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Environmental Conservation with funding from the Fulbright Scholarship in 2014.

My Thesis was on the Island-wide scale occupancy modelling analysis of Sumatran Rhinoceros. Since then, with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), I am working on setting up conservation strategies for Sumatra and Sulawesi terrestrial species. I was also leading the Science Unit with the overarching goal of ensuring robust conservation science is a central part of WCS work.

Another interest of mine is in capacity building, specifically addressing the gender gap in conservation science. I do many training on statistics and ecology data analysis within WCS and the broader conservation community, as well as conducting training for University students and founding the R-Ladies Bogor chapter.

Research Interests

My main interest is quantitative ecology, the application of statistical modelling, in giving a practical solution for conservation problem. Most of the analysis I did is in the realm of hierarchical ecology modeling and spatial analysis. However, I have broadened my interest to include socioeconomic study, and the role of behavioural change in advancing conservation goals.

Current Research


For my DPhil, I am going to assess the intactness of mammal community assemblages. This is an important area of tropical rainforest research.

My DPhil aims to investigate the response of multi-species assemblages to a range of social, biological and economic factors in a large protected area forest landscape in the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, located in the Wallacea region.

A multi-species occupancy approach using Bayesian hierarchical modeling in combination with a spatial analysis using circuit theory will be performed on a dataset consisting of >10,000 camera trap nights. These data have been collected across a forest gradient, from agroforest to degraded primary forest to primary forest, which allows for a detailed investigation into a series of land use planning scenarios, such as those considering wildlife corridors and forest connectivity.

As part of larger study by the TRADE hub, I will assess the consumption pattern and market network of bushmeat in the northern part of Sulawesi. Further analysis using regression-based modeling, on bushmeat market survey data and biodiversity indices from camera trap, will be applied to assess the threat and identify appropriate management recommendations.

The combined results from my study will be used to improve landscape planning, including government spatial and economic development plans and enhanced strategies for conserving Sulawesi’s rich fauna.

Brief CV


  • 2012-2014: M.S in Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA. Thesis: Ecology and Conservation of Endangered Species in Sumatra: Smaller Cats and The Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, Fischer 1814) as Case Studies.
  • 2001-2006: B.Sc. (Biology) University of Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia. Thesis: Population and Feasibility Study of the Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorinus sumatrensis, Fischer 1814) in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, South Sumatra, Indonesia.


  • 2017 – 2019, Senior Species Conservation Specialist, Wildlife Conservation Society – Indonesia Program.
  • 2014 – 2017, Species Conservation Specialist, Wildlife Conservation Society – Indonesia Program.
  • 2011 – 2012, Tiger Project Manager, Wildlife Conservation Society – Indonesia Program.
  • 2009 – 2011, Species Conservation Officer, Wildlife Conservation Society – Indonesia Program.
  • 2007 – 2009: Data Analyst, Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI) or Rhino Foundation of Indonesia.

Supervision and Funding

Prof. David Macdonald, Dr. Amy HinsleyDr. Lauren Coad, and Dr. Matthew Linkie. Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education.


  • First place. Minneapolis Fulbright Seminar Workshop. Global Challenges, Local Solutions: Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 3rd May 2013.
  • Grantee of a Fulbright Scholar: M.S. FIRST (Master of Science, Fulbright Indonesia Research, Science and Technology) 2012-2014.
  • University of Massachusetts Master Degree Tuition Award. 2012-2014. Fund: $7,452/year.
  • University of Massachusetts Master Degree Curriculum Fee Waiver. 2012-2014.
  • Recipient of the Future Conservationist Award for the project entitled: Re-estimating the Sumatran Rhinoceros in Gunung Leuser National park, Sumatra Indonesia. The Conservation Leadership Program (CLP) 2009.
  • Recipient of the Summer Course Scholarship “Biodiversity of Borneo”, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University – Center for Tropical Forest Science, 29th June 2008 – 8th August 2008.
  • Recipient of the Undergraduate Scholarship in Conservation Biology, Nagao Nature Environment Foundation – Japan International Cooperation Agency, 2001 – 2005.

Published Papers

  • Hunowu, I., A. Patandung, W. Pusparini, I. Danimend, A. Cahyana, S. Abdullah, C. L. Johnson, H. Hilser, R. Rahasia, J. Gawina, & M. Linkie. 2020. New insight into Sulawesi’s apex predator: The Sulawesi civet Macrogalidia musschenbroekii. Oryx.
  • Johnson, C.L., H. Hilser, M. Linkie, R. Rahasia, F. Rovero, W. Pusparini, I. Hunowu, A. Patandung, N. Andayani, L. A. Nistyantara, & A. E. Bowkett. 2020. Using occupancy-based camera trap surveys to assess the critically endangered primate Macaca nigra across its range in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Oryx.  (in review)
  • Johnson, C.L., H. Hilser, N. Andayani, I. Hunowu, M. Linkie, A. Patandung, W. Pusparini, R. Rahasia, & A. Bowkett. 2019. Camera traps clarify the distribution boundary between the crested black macaque (Macaca nigra) and Gorontalo macaque (Macaca nigrescens) in North Sulawesi. International Journal of Primatology.
  • Pusparini, W., T. Batubara, F. Surahmat, Ardiantiono, T. Sugiharti, M. Muslich, F. Amama, W. M. Rombang & N. Andayani. 2017. Pathway to recovery, sumatran tiger in an ‘in danger’ UNESCO world heritage site. Oryx.
  • Pusparini, W., P.R. Sievert, T.K. Fuller, T.O. Randhir, & N. Andayani. 2015. Rhinos in the parks: occurrence and abundance of the last wild populations of Sumatran rhinoceros in Sumatra. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0136643. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136643
  • Pusparini, W. & M.C. Sibarani. 2014. The first record of Indonesian Mountain Weasel Mustela lutreolina from northern Sumatra, Indonesia. 2014. Small Carnivore Conservation 51: 92-95.
  • Pusparini, W., H. T. Wibisono, G. V. Reddy, Tarmizi, & P. Bharata. 2014. Records of small and medium cats from Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia. CATnews Special Issue 8: 4-9.
  • Pusparini, W. & Wibisono. Landscape-level assessment of the distribution of the sumatran rhinoceros in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Sumatra. 2013. Pachyderm 53: 59-65.
  • Wibisono, H.T., M. Linkie, G. Guillera-Arroita, J.A. Smith, Sunarto, Pusparini, W., et. al. 2011. Population status of a cryptic top predator: An island-wide assessment of tigers in Sumatran rainforests. PLoS ONE 6(11): e25931. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025931
  • Wibisono, H.T., and Pusparini, W., 2010. Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae): A review of conservation status. Integrative Zoology (5): 313-323.

Presentations Given

  • 2019. Invited public lectures celebrating international tiger day and expert discussion, organize by MYCat and Singapore Wild Cat Action Group. 12 – 14th July 2019, Singapore.
  • 2017. Oral presentation at the Third International conference on Southeast Asian Gateway Evolution (SAGE 2017): “A pathway to recovery, sumatran tiger population in an in danger UNESCO world heritage site”. 28 August – 1 September 2017Bogor, Indonesia.
  • 2016. Moderator at the Indonesia Pavilion event: “Beyond Protected Areas – Landscape approaches to save wildlife and wild places outside national parks.  The IUCN World Conservation Congress, 1-10 September 2016, Hawaii – USA.
  • 2016. Oral presentation at the Species Conservation Pavilion event:”Quartet at the crossroad, overcoming challenges in conserving tigers, elephants, rhinos, and orangutan”. The IUCN World Conservation Congress, 1-10 September 2016, Hawaii – USA.
  • 2016. Poster presentation: ”Beyond protected areas – landscape approaches to save wildlife and wild places outside national parks”. The IUCN World Conservation Congress, 1-10 September 2016, Hawaii – USA.
  • 2016. Oral presentation: ”Pattern of Conflict and Local Perception on Human – Tiger Conflict around Leuser Landscape, Sumatra, Indonesia 2010 -2014”. Conservation Asia – Join Meeting of ATBC and SCB, 29 June – 2 July 2016, Singapore.
  • 2015. Plenary talk: “Protecting the Lesser Carnivores: Diversity and Conservation of Small Carnivores in Sumatra”. The 9th Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation Asia-Pacific Chapter, 30 March – 2 April 2015, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  • 2015. Oral presentation: “Sumatran Rhinoceros Population Change 2008 – 2012: Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park”. The 5th Student Conference on Conservation Science – Australia, 20th January 2015, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland – Australia.
  • 2014. Oral presentation: “Tigers without Borders. Conservation within and outside protected areas, BBSNP and BBRS Landscape, Southern Sumatra, Indonesia”. Indonesian Tiger Conference, December 2014, Bogor, Indonesia.
  • 2014. Oral presentation: “Rhinos in the Parks, Occurrence and Abundance of Sumatran Rhinoceros in Sumatra 2007-2010”. The Student Conference on Conservation Science – New York, 15th October 2014, American Museum of Natural History, New York City, USA.
  • 2014. Oral presentation: “Rhinos in the Parks, Occurrence and Abundance of Sumatran Rhinoceros in Sumatra 2007-2010”. The 3rd Asia Regional Conference of the Society of Conservation Biology – Asia Section, 19-22 August 2014, Melaka, Malaysia.
  • 2013. Poster presentation: “A Spatially explicit model of Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) occurrence in Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia. Poster presented at Life Science Graduate Research Symposium UMass Amherst, 22 November 2013.
  • 2010. Invited talk – “Saving tigers”, Workshop on GIS conservation and society for conservation GIS Indonesia chapter initiation, Bogor, Indonesia.
  • 2010. Oral presentation: “An alternative approach to assess the status and conservation of Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) in the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park” 2010 International Meeting of Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), Large mammals’ conservation symposium, Bali, Indonesia.
  • 2008. Talk: “Intraspecific and Interspecific Competition for Breeding Site among Three Species of Libellulidae in Maliau Basin, Sabah, Malaysia”. University of Malaya, Kinabalu, Sabah. As part of Summer Course with the Harvard University.
  • 2007. Talk: “Population and habitat Feasibility Study of the Sumatran Rhino at Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park” Bogorbio Meeting, discussion of papers, projects and proposals in ecology, conservation, evolution and systematic, Bogor, Indonesia.