Saturday, December 02, 2017

Saba warns of elephant 'holocaust'

"It's such a pleasant, relaxing experience – in Kenya you are never far away from instant death on the roads from potholes, animals or other drivers," she laughs.

The elephant conservationist and TV presenter stopped off in Bewdley to meet its small elephant family during a UK-wide tour promoting her work with elephants in Africa.

With her husband Frank Pope, she runs the Save The Elephants(STE) charity, started by her zoologist father Ian Douglas-Hamilton in 1993. She was born in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya on June 7 at 7pm on the seventh day of the week, and became the seventh grandchild in the family. Her name means 'seven' in Swahili.

She met her first wild animal, an elephant called Virgo, when she was six weeks old and with her sister, Mara, grew up in the African bush learning bush-lore from the rangers and absorbing all there was to know about elephants, just like her own three children now.

Her first job after leaving St Andrews University in Scotland with a Masters degree in social anthropology was with the Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia and she went on to work in academia before joining STE as chief operations officer.

It was here she was talent-spotted by the BBC and has since presented several wildlife series, including Secret Life of Elephants, Unknown Africa and Big Cat Diary.

She currently runs the family’s luxury tented eco-lodge, Elephant Watch Camp, started by her mother Oria, a pioneer in conservation tourism, which offers holidaymakers the chance to live under canvas observing wildlife at close range.

In between times, she lectures extensively to raise awareness about conservation issues. Her message is simple: elephants are in crisis.

She identifies two elephant 'holocausts'. During the first, in the 1970s – 80s, the African elephant population plummeted by half, from 1.3 million to 600,000 in a decade due to the illegal ivory trade .

After a long global campaign, when STE teamed up with CITES(the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), a ban on international ivory trade was brought in and had an immediate effect.

"Almost overnight the price of ivory dropped, except for places like the Congo, and a 25-year ceasefire allowed elephants to recover," says Saba.

"But the South African countries - Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia - were pushing to re-open trade as they felt they were being punished for their good custodianship of their elephant populations."

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Tesso Nilo National Park welcomes newborn elephant

The elephant population at the Tesso Nilo National Park in Pelalawan regency, Riau, has grown as a Sumatran elephant gave birth on Tuesday.

The healthy male elephant was named Harmoni Rimbo and quickly became the center of attention at the Tesso Nilo Festival held in the park from Wednesday to Friday.

“The birth of the baby elephant should encourage all concerned parties that there is still hope [for elephants to live] in the Tesso Nilo National Park,” Wiratno, the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s director general for natural resources and the ecosystem, told Antara on Thursday.

Harmoni Rimbo, or simply Har, was born after cross-mating a male wild elephant and a captive female elephant named Ria, which belongs to the Tesso Nilo Elephant Flying Squad, a joint operation of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia and the Conservation Authority of Riau.

Har is the sixth elephant to be born since the Elephant Flying Squad was formed in 2004.

Ria was detected to be pregnant in May last year. She has already given birth to two elephants, one in 2011 and the second in 2014.

Tesso Nilo Natinal Park chairman Supartono said with the birth of Harmoni Rimbo the park now has eight domesticated elephants.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Baby Elephant in North Sumatra Dead to Pit

Medan - An elephant baby was found dead after falling into a hole in North Sumatra (North Sumatra). Baby elephant is not yet known gender.

"In the location was found the baby elephant in a dead state due to mired in the hole that was allegedly stump of wood," said Head of Administration BBKSDA Sumut, Tri Atmojo in his office in Medan, Wednesday (25/10/2017). Tri said that the elephant was found dead in Sumber Waras Village, Sei Serdang Village, Batang Serangan District, Langkat Regency on Saturday (21/10). The team of 20 people together with the residents then checked the next day because previously the conditions in not possible to evacuate the elephant carcass.

"The condition of the carcass of an elephant is mired in a half-body with a condition of four feet in the ground, only the back and head are left, then the team buries in the location by piling up the soil," he continued.

In Sumber Waras Village, there are 20 tonutmeg family. People there, according to Tri working in oil palm plantations. The distance between the Dusun and TNGL area is about 1 km.

"From the results of checking the animal conflict team that there are no suspicious signs such as poison, trap, or anything else," said Tri.

Meanwhile, veterinarian BBKSDA Sumut, drh Tia Zalia Batubara said the baby elephant died is estimated 3-4 days.

"The age is estimated to be under a year, still the process of suckling the elephant child.Gender is not yet known, elephants are buried in the same location.The size of the elephant is about 110 cm long," said Tia.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Baby Elephant in North Sumatra Dead to Pit

Medan - An elephant baby was found dead after falling into a hole in North Sumatra (North Sumatra). Baby elephant is not yet known gender.

"In the location was found the baby elephant in a dead state due to mired in the hole that was allegedly stump of wood," said Head of Administration BBKSDA Sumut, Tri Atmojo in his office in Medan, Wednesday (25/10/2017). Tri said that the elephant was found dead in Sumber Waras Village, Sei Serdang Village, Batang Serangan District, Langkat Regency on Saturday (21/10). The team of 20 people together with the residents then checked the next day because previously the conditions in not possible to evacuate the elephant carcass.

"The condition of the carcass of an elephant is mired in a half-body with a condition of four feet in the ground, only the back and head are left, then the team buries in the location by piling up the soil," he continued.

In Sumber Waras Village, there are 20 tonutmeg family. People there, according to Tri working in oil palm plantations. The distance between the Dusun and TNGL area is about 1 km.

"From the results of checking the animal conflict team that there are no suspicious signs such as poison, trap, or anything else," said Tri.

Meanwhile, veterinarian BBKSDA Sumut, drh Tia Zalia Batubara said the baby elephant died is estimated 3-4 days.

"The age is estimated to be under a year, still the process of suckling the elephant child.Gender is not yet known, elephants are buried in the same location.The size of the elephant is about 110 cm long," said Tia.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Two rare elephants die due to electric fence in Indonesia

Two extremely rare elephants have died after being electrocuted by a fence in the search for food. The Sumatran elephants were killed by suspected electrocution in Indonesia’s Aceh province, according to local media.

The dead animals’ bodies were found, with their tusks still intact, indicating that poachers were not responsible for their death.

Aceh performing an autopsy on two Sumatran elephants which were shocked by a plantation fence in Aceh Timur District, on October 17, 2017.

Many residents in the local area have installed electrical fences around their land or homes to prevent
animal attacks and to protect their crops.

Sumatran elephants are a critically endangered species and there are fewer than 3,000 left in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

The elephants’ habitat has been devastated by industrial activities such as logging.

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

An Indonesian Flying Squad saves wild Elephants from Harm

When wild elephants begin trampling around plantations in search of food, they may unwittingly place themselves at risk. Irate farmers may take their anger out on the gentle giants by shooting or poisoning them. That is why officials and conservationists have to ask fast whenever elephants show up at plantations.

This is where a special rescue unit operating in Indonesia comes in. Called the Flying Squad thanks to the speed with which it operates, the unit involves four domesticated elephants and nine mahouts. Their job is to patrol parts of the northern border of Tesso Nilo National Park in Sumatra and ensure that wild elephants and local farmers can peacefully coexist.

As soon as elephants begin raiding orchards and plantations, the join pachyderm-human squad rushes to the scene to coax the wild elephants back into the forest. “Conflict can arise when people view these elephants as a threat to crops. The objective of the Flying Squad is to detect and herd wild elephants away from residential areas,” Didik Purwanto, a local expert, was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post.

“The task is to help herd them back, not to capture them,” he elucidated. “The team monitors the wild elephants twice weekly by tracking their movements to areas that are off-limits. When they do spot elephants or when there are reports of them leaving the national park, they are immediately herded back to the park to prevent them from destroying crops or even killing people.”

The initiative is a project overseen in part by the World Wide Fund for Nature and was set up in response to the increasing number of human-elephant conflicts in Sumatra. Such conflicts have intensified as a result of the ongoing loss of forests that wild elephants have called home. Deforestation has had a marked impact on local biodiversity while human settlements and plantations have also been encroaching on the natural habitats of the area’s pachyderms. Several elephants have been killed in recent years, likely by people working for local pulp mills and palm oil plantations.

The Flying Squad has been successful in reducing the number of deadly conflicts. “Local residents are happy with the Flying Squad’s presence, which is saving elephant’s lives as well as protecting community cultivation,” said one of the mahouts on the team. The idea is that wild elephants will respond better to the presence of other elephants and will be less likely to fight back than if they were faced with humans alone. Such flying squads have long been in use in places like India to monitor wild elephant herds and stop them from straying into cultivated fields and adjoining villages. They might come in handy in Malaysia too.

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Friday, September 01, 2017

Customs puzzled how jumbo tusk smuggled into Kalimantan

The State Customs Department has not received any information on the elephant tusk that allegedly made its way across the border to North Kalimatan via Tawau. The department said it is their normal practice to conduct detailed inspections at all times not only on suspicious containers but all luggage and items going through Customs check.

"We did not detect any elephant tusk, we will be informed if there was any," said State Customs Director Datuk Dr Janathan Kandok.

Malaysian Insight picked up the news from CNN Indonesia that a single tusk, weighing about 2.7kg and covered in a sack of fertiliser, was confiscated from a foreign worker as he entered Nunukan on July 24.

The 50-year-old man from East Nusa Tenggara allegedly told Indonesian police he bought the tusk from a Malaysian for RM1,500.

It also quoted a Sabah conservationists who claimed that the man went through proper channels, raising questions as to how enforcement officers at the Tawau checkpoint could have missed detecting the item in the man's luggage before he left the State.

In response to this, Janathan said that it is their opinion, stressing that they have not detected anything thus far. "We have not detected anything, which means the item could not have passed through legal landing place, even if they had entered the State, they would have to go through checkpoints at airports or ports, the item is too big, and surely it cannot go through without being detected.

"The tusk is big and in my opinion, how many tusks do we have in Sabah, it could perhaps be from another place and brought here.

"But whatever it is we have and will tighten our controls," he said.

Five elephant tusks seized from a woman at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine station in Nunukan, North Kalimantan, Indonesia, in January this year.

Indonesia's news portal Kompas said a woman who claimed to be heading to Flores was halted by the country's immigration authorities in Nunukan for carrying the tusks.

The report further said the woman was released after explaining that the items do not belong to her but she was just entrusted to carry them.

The tusks were found hidden in the woman's bag as it passed through the Indonesian Customs X-ray machine with the Indonesian authorities valuing the items at RM33,000 (or Rp 100 million).

Killing elephants for their ivory is unheard of in Sabah who have previously been poisoned to death for being a "nuisance" in plantations or ended up dead after being stuck in a quarry pit at the most.

However, the grim discovery of a decapitated bull pygmy elephant in the vicinity of the Ulu Segama Forest reserve in January this year may be an indication that the world crackdown on the ivory trade lately is making poachers try their luck in Sabah.

It was learnt that a single shotgun was fired at a male jumbo at an oil palm plantation boundary next to the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve. Its trunk was chopped off, its head hacked and tusks had disappeared without a trace.

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Taman Safari's animal parade pays tribute to Independence

Thousands of visitors packed Taman Safari Indonesia (TSI) in Bogor, West Java, to observe and photograph the unique species that featured in an animal parade on Sunday to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of Indonesian independence.

Seventy-nine animals were exhibited in the parade held on Aug. 19 and Aug. 20, including tigers, elephants, several species of birds and snakes, and camels.

Taman Safari spokesperson Yulius said the animal parade was an annual event and was held not only to entertain the park's visitors, but also to encourage them to care more about animals, especially species endemic to the Indonesian archipelago.

Ahead of Independence Day, TSI announced that 54 species had been born in 2017 at its conservation center, including a Kalimantan orangutan. The park is now awaiting the birth of a calf of the Javanese wild bull, which was conceived through artificial insemination.

TSI director Jansen Manansang said that of the 54 animals comprising exotic and endemic species successfully bred at the conservation park, 16 were rare and protected species: a Komodo dragon, a Javan hawk-eagle, a lesser bird-of-paradise, a Malay tapir, Goffin’s cockatoos and Javan green magpies.

Jansen said announcing the successful breeding of these species was more special because it coincided with Independence Day. Taman Safari could thus show its contributions to developing the country through the conservation of endemic species, he added.

TSI’s conservation activities began in 1980, when it took part in efforts to mitigate elephant-human conflicts, including initiating the establishment of Indonesia’s first elephant training center in Way Kambas, Lampung.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Workers from BKSDA try to examine wounded Sumatran elephant in Indonesia

Workers from Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) gather to examine a Sumatran elephant after it has been shot by hunters in Aceh, Indonesia on Aug. 16, 2017. BKSDA said that the population of Sumatran elephant has continued to decline in recent years.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Body of Unidentified Woman Found Near Elephant Enclosure at Ragunan Zoo

The body of an unidentified woman was found near the elephant enclosure at Ragunan Zoo in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, at around noon on Tuesday (27/06).

Adj. Sr. Comr. Juang Andi Priyanto, head of the South Jakarta Police's operational department, said the woman is believed to have been a hawker selling coffee, because she had sachets of instant coffee in her bag and a thermos flask containing hot water. However, she had no form of identification.

"There is no indication that she may have been attacked. We still don't know the cause of death. Several visitors were questioned, but nobody was able to shed light on the woman's identity. Her body was taken to Fatmawati Hospital in South Jakarta for an examination" Juang said.

Ragunan Zoo is a popular spot for holidaymakers during Idul Fitri.

"The zoo received at least 130,325 visitors over the holiday period," Juang said.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Body of Indonesian believed trampled to death by elephant found

The lifeless body of an Indonesian plantation worker believed to have been trampled to death by a wild elephant was found in Ladang Tunjuk Laut, Tanjung Sedili, near here, today.

The victim, known as Sofian Adi, 33, is believed to have been missing since yesterday.

Kota Tinggi Fire and Rescue Station operations commander, Rahman Hashim said they received information of a man missing at 8.57am yesterday before rushing to the scene along with six members and two four-wheel drive vehicles.

“The victim’s body was found at around 12.50pm by a plantation worker who was conducting a search operation. The worker found the victim’s shoe first before finding the body about 100 metres from the shoe,” he said when contacted here today.

“We were told another friend of the victim suffered injuries during the attack and is receiving treatment,” said Rahman.

Meanwhile, Kota Tinggi district police chief, Supt Ahsmon Bajah, confirmed that the body was that of the Indonesian plantation worker.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

4 states conduct elephant census, population rise documented

Four states came together to coordinate with each other for a composite elephant census and study. The census came to an end on Friday at West Midnapore's Goaltore. On March this year, Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand decided to conduct a census from May 10 to 12.

The dates were deliberately chosen as the sighting of elephants was expected to be easier on the night of May 10, which was a full moon night. Elephant experts often say that these four states together have the maximum numbers of human-elephant conflict.

However, on the other hand, a sizable portion of the population here worships the elephant as a god. In a recent incident, at Goaltore's Dudhpathari, local villagers treated an ailing elephant which was suffering from dehydration.

"We undertook block counting, water hole and line transect dung count methods to count the number of elephants in the region. The data will be compiled in a specific format and sent to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for analysis," said Vijay Kumar Salimath, the Burdwan DFO.

Block sampling with direct counting method basically means taking samples from the selected block randomly across the entire division. In this method, for each division, approximately 50 per cent of the forest beat areas to be randomly chosen and to be demarcated as census block.

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Indonesian rangers dismantle traps to save wildlife

An Indonesian forest ranger with a trap set up by poachers to capture elephants in the Leuser Ecosystem rainforest, located mostly within the province of Aceh on the island of Sumatra.

LEUSER, Indonesia (AFP) - In the depths of Indonesia's dense Leuser rain forest, a group of rangers are searching for traps set by poachers which are endangering rare wildlife.

Scientists and conservationists consider the Leuser Ecosystem, which falls mostly within Aceh province on Sumatra island, to be among the most important forests left in Southeast Asia.

It is the last place of sufficient size and quality to support viable populations of rare species like orangutans, Sumatran tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants, clouded leopards and sun bears.

"The rangers are trained to track signs indicating that there were poachers in the area, such as by looking for cigarette ends or footsteps," said Rudi Putra, head of the forum.

Some traps are designed to snare animals' feet. Others consist of spears set high up in trees, which would fall when a trap is sprung.

The rangers also watch for signs of deforestation such as illegal logging, and collect data from the forest for further research.

Poachers typically set up traps to capture elephants, tigers and bears so they can sell them illegally and make money.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Elephant attack on tour operator in Bali, Indonesia leads to loss of life

BALI, INDONESIA — An elephant handler on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, was horribly killed on April 28 when the animal he had planned to feed, snapped.

The deceased is Balinese man I Nyoman Levi, the owner of an elephant tour and rafting concern.

According to eyewitnesses, Levi and two other handlers went to the elephant cage around noon to feed the animals. As Levi began the feeding, a bull elephant named Lampung attacked. Other handlers watched as Lampung wrapped its trunk around Levi, lifted him up, then smashed him into the ground with brutal force. Levi lost consciousness.

The other handlers swiftly delivered a smashed Levi to the hospital, but his injuries were too severe. Levi died shortly after arriving.

A post-mortem exam, revealed nasty gashes on his head and the right side of his chest, according to the Bali Post.

Police, stating the obvious, have recorded Levi’s death as a workplace accident. One of the hazards of working with unrestrained giant animals, unfortunately. Rest in peace, Levi.

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Indonesia: Hungry elephants in Sumatra destroy local plantations

Locals have called on authorities to take action to drive away three wild elephants, which came close to residential areas in Bengkalis regency, Riau province and destroyed palm and crop plantations.

The herd of the endangered animal had visited Jl. Rangau, Pematang Pudu subdistrict, Mandau district, in the past two weeks, but it was only in the past week that they began eating the local’s plantations, local Nimrot Sinaga said.

“They also destroyed an 8-hectare 3-year old palm plantation, which belongs to my parents,” he said on Friday.

The elephants usually came at night, he said, adding that he and the other residents tried to drive the elephants away using firecrackers. However, the elephants remained circling the area as other residents also tried to cast them away from the opposite direction.

He predicted that the three elephants are one family as they comprised of two adults and one calf around five years old.

“We expect the Riau Natural Resource Conservation Agency [BKSDA] will soon deploy a tamed elephant to lead the wild elephants away from the plantations and residences,” he said.

Tamed elephants are usually used to mitigate conflict between wild elephants and humans.

Nimrot said if authorities did not take swift action, he feared the local people would not be able to contain their anger as their palm plantations were eaten by the elephants. He said the elephants ate the palm shoots, which will kill the trees.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Endangered Sumatran Elephants – Threats and Conservation

Indonesia is known as a country that has a large area of rain forest. Having over 18,000 islands, Indonesia contains the world’s third largest area of rain forest after Amazon and Africa’s Congo Basin. The forests of Borneo and Sumatra are islands that contain rain forest the most in Indonesia.

The forest of Sumatra is among the most biologically habitats on earth and high numbers of unique plants and animals may be found there. Sumatra is the Southeast Asian island that is located on the Equator and becomes a home to some of the world’s most diverse rain forest. This island is the world’s sixth largest island.

Habitat Loss

Then, due to its tropical climate, thousands of unique species live there. In recent years, massive habitat loss of these animals makes them to the very edge of survival. They are very rare to be seen in their natural habitat. Some of the endangered animals are Sumatran tigers, orangutans, Sumatran elephant, and Sumatran rhinos.

Therefore, through this article we will be focus on endangered Sumatran elephant, as one of Endangered Animals in Indonesia. We will discuss about its characteristic, behavior, and the conservation. We hope that you will understand this animal better after reading this article.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Starving Sumatran elephant shot is paying price of palm oil

The ivory trade is often what we associate with elephants’ endangered status, but there are other equally destructive culprits. For Sumatran elephants, a species found in the forests of Southeast Asia, that offender may be resting a little closer to home in our kitchen cabinets. That’s because this species of elephant is subject to persecution and habitat destruction in connection with the palm oil industry.

Palm oil has quickly become the go-to ingredient in as much as half of all consumer goods we buy – from pie crusts and peanut butter to toothpaste and household cleaners. And as its usage expands, more and more land is required to grow the fruit from which this oil derives. As a result, it’s estimated that an area the size of 300 football fields is cleared in the Sumatran rainforests every hour in order for new palm oil plantations to take root.

These forests are the primary habitat for a number of endangered species, who, in addition to becoming homeless, are losing their sources of food and water and, ultimately, their means to survive. But as if that wasn’t torturous enough, they are also forced to deal with the heavy-handedness of profit-chasing palm plantation workers, who consider these animals pests.

For Sumatran elephants, wandering anywhere near a palm plantation in search of food or a secure resting place often results in physical harm or death, whether through poisoning or physical weaponry. Babies regularly become orphaned when their mothers are attacked, but industry workers take no issue in violating the youngsters themselves.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Paichit – the baby elephant saved from a palm oil plantation in Indonesia

Orphaned at a few months old and nursed back to health by a local wildlife centre, Paichit’s story has serious implications for critically endangered Sumatran elephants

Pushing on 400 kilograms, baby Paichit knows when it’s feeding time.

He lets out an appreciative bellow, a rumbling baby elephant purr from his patch in the Sumatran jungle, as soon as his mahout (keeper) Julkarnaini approaches bucket in hand.

“He’s getting much healthier,” observes Julkarnaini, now using the bucket to give Paichit a bit of a bath. “At first he was very thin, but after a month here he’s putting on weight.”

Earlier this year baby Paichit, one of the critically endangered Sumatran elephants, was found stranded and starving in a palm oil plantation in Aceh, on the northern tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra island. Paichit’s father had been shot and the rest of the herd had fled in fright.

When he was discovered, Paichit was so malnourished the shape of his ribs was visible from beneath his sagging skin. On arrival at a centre run by the Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), an intravenous drip was immediately fixed to his ear.

“Paichit was really in a bad condition when he first arrived, he was very dehydrated, he was suffering from shock, stress and he was very thin, malnourished, and his skin was in a bad way,” recalls BKSDA veterinarian, Dr Rosa Wahyuni.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Indonesia: Sumatra elephants' habitat continues to shrink: NGO

Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - The habitat of Sumatra elephants (Elephas Maximus Sumatranus), which continues to shrink, has sparked more conflict between the endangered species and humans, an NGO working in the field of nature conservation has said.

"Conflict (with humans) has occurred more often because the habitat of the elephants has continued to shrink. In the latest incident, wild elephants roaming the Gajah Makmur village led to a feeling of restlessness among the villagers," the program coordinator of the Nature Conservation Alliance (Akar) Network, Ali Akbar, said here on Friday.

An investigation conducted by the Akar Network found that the corridor that is the elephants roaming track in the Seblat Nature Tourism Park has increasingly shrunk due to changing patterns of land use.

The cultivation rights awarded to some plantations and illegal land clearing have led to a situation where elephants feel annoyed in their own habitat.

"The wild elephants entering the village came from Seblat Park, having passed through the oil palm plantation of PT Alno to HPT Air Rami, but then found themselves trapped in Air Rami," he explained.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Critically endangered Sumatran elephant dies in Indonesian zoo, sparking anger from politicians

A critically endangered Sumatran elephant has become the latest animal to die in one of Indonesia's ill-maintained zoos, an official said, sparking anger from activists and politicians.

The 34-year-old female elephant, called Yani, died in the city of Bandung on the island of Java island on Wednesday after falling ill a week earlier.

Many of the country's zoos are in poor condition and house animals in filthy, cramped enclosures.

The most notorious, in the city of Surabaya, has been dubbed the "death zoo" as hundreds of animals have perished there.

Bandung zoo said the cause of Yani's death was yet to be determined but the creature appeared lethargic before she died and pictures showed large sores on her body.

Efforts to save the elephant were hampered as the zoo had been without a resident veterinarian for almost a year, zoo spokesman Sudaryo admitted.

But the spokesman, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, insisted the zoo had done all it could by consulting an outside vet and elephant-keeper and providing medicines.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Baby elephant rescued near Indonesian palm oil plantation

Banda Aceh - A baby elephant found terrified and malnourished near a palm oil plantation is being nursed back to health at a conservation centre on Indonesia's Sumatra island.

Last week, animal experts in Aceh province received a tip-off about a dead elephant without its tusks.

When the team arrived they found the dead animal, along with the abandoned 11-month-old calf.

"We suspect the adult elephant was shot. He was probably with a group, so the others fled but the baby got left behind," Aceh conservation centre head Sapto Aji Prabowo told AFP.

"The baby was malnourished, so that's why we took him to the elephant conservation centre."

The youngster weighs around 300 kilogrammes just over half the typical weight of an animal of his age.

Rangers transported the hungry creature to the conservation centre where it is being looked after by specialists.

"It was in a bad condition, depressed, limp. It was obvious from his gestures that he was afraid of us. Now it's getting better," said veterinarian Rosa Rika Wahyuni.

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Elephant tusks believed from Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) has contacted the Indonesian CITES Management Authority about the elephants tusks that were taken from a woman in Nunukan, North Kalimantan a week ago.

The five pieces of tusks were believed to be from Sabah, a news portal reported.

SWD director Augustine Tuuga when commenting on the report said that the department did not know exactly where the tusks came from.

It can only be ascertained when statement from the person who carried them was taken by Indonesian wildlife authorities or DNA analysis can be done and compared to the specimens of the animals killed in Sabah, he said.

“We just pray that the Indonesian wildlife authorities will conduct a thorough investigation into the case.We already contacted the Indonesian CITES Management Authority regarding the matter through the assistance of Traffic Southeast Asia. We just wait for the outcome of their investigation. They may contact us if they need our assistance,” he added.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Indonesia: Four Sumatran elephants died in Riau in 2016 -- WWF

Pekanbaru (ANTARA News) - The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has said that four Sumatran elephants died in 2016 in Riau Province, a decline from the previous year.

"In 2015, there were 10 cases of dead elephants, while in 2016, the number decreased to four," Spokesperson of WWF of the Riau Program Syamsidar said here on Tuesday.

The four deaths are believed to have occurred due to conflict between humans and wild animals.

Last year, the Tesso Nilo National Park Authority found the carcass of a Sumatran elephant in Pelalawan District.

They also found a Sumatran elephant snared in an industrial forest concession. The animal did not survive despite treatment.

In September last year, an elephant calf was found trapped in a ditch in an industrial forest concession with wounds all over its body.

"An elephant also died after being electrocuted in Duri region, near a residential area," Syamsidar said.

No suspects were either identified or arrested in these cases, Syamsidar said.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Indonesia: Elephants suffering from malnutrition sent to sanctuary

After spending over 10 years at the Aras Napal elephant-training center, three elephants suffering from malnutrition were sent to the Barumun Nagari wildlife sanctuary in North Padang Lawas regency, North Sumatra, on Friday in an effort to save their lives.

The transfer of Dion, Aini and Tanti — as the elephants are called — by North Sumatra Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) took 23 hours.

The transfer of the one male and two female elephants ran smoothly, Dede Tanjung of the North Sumatra BKSDA responsible for the transfer said. “While in the sanctuary we will improve their nutrition. We will give them additional food, such as pineapples, watermelons and sugarcane,” Dede said.

The agency’s planning, protection and conservation section head Rahmad Saleh Simbolon said the transfer was conducted to save the elephants from starvation.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Captive elephants help save wild cousins on forest frontline

Lampung, Indonesia, Dec 7, 2016 (AFP) - It was the middle of the night when the villagers sounded the alarm: a huge Sumatran elephant was raiding their rice fields, and they needed urgent help to drive it back to the forest.
Dodot -- a veteran Indonesian elephant keeper trained to handle such emergencies -- rushed to the scene, fearing villagers would take matters into their own hands if he didn’t get there in time.

”It was the king,” Dodot said of the hungry bull male that had strayed from the forest in southeast Sumatra in search of food.

”He’s not afraid of humans, or weapons. He owns the territory.”

It was the third such intrusion in a month.

Confrontations between elephants and humans can quickly turn violent in Sumatra, where competition for space has intensified as the island’s forests have been rapidly cleared for timber and farming.

Nearly 70 percent of the Sumatran elephants habitat has been destroyed in a single generation, says conservation group WWF, driving them into ever-closer contact with humans.

Villagers have been trampled and killed by stampeding herds, but it’s the elephants that have suffered most as their habitats have shrunk.

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Saturday, December 03, 2016

Elephant that killed Indonesian man shot dead

TAWAU, Nov 21 — The wild elephant that killed an Indonesian plantation worker at the Dumpas oil palm plantation near here was shot dead by Sabah Wildlife Department’s rangers yesterday evening.

Its Director, Augustine Tuuga said the elephant had already killed a human and the chances that it would attack again if it came across anyone in its path was high.

“We did not want to take any chances with this bull.

“We have confirmed that the bull elephant was on musth, musth is a periodic state of heightened sexual activity and aggression in adult male elephants caused by a marked increase of the hormone testosterone in the body, resulting in the very violent behaviour of this bull elephant” he said in a statement here, today.

He said, the officers in the east coast region would also be on high alert to monitor the movement of the elephant herds within these bull elephant ranges.

On 19 Nov, Ciin Bedu, 48, an oil palm plantation worker was attacked at around 3pm and trampled to death by a wild elephant in Dumpas plantation area near here.  — Bernama

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Indonesian worker trampled to death by wild elephant

TAWAU: An Indonesian man was trampled to death by an elephant in Dumpas timber plantation area near here, earlier today.

District police chief Assistant Commissioner Fadil Marsus who confirmed the incident said the victim, a 48-year employee at the plantation died of head injuries after being trampled by a wild elephant.

“A distress call was received around 3.22pm to inform us that there was a victim who had died after an elephant attacked him at the Dumpas timber plantations near the border of Bombalai towards Kalabakan,” he told Bernama.

According to him, the victim was taken to the Tawau Hospital. This is the second incident of an elephant attacking civilians this month.

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Indonesia: Young elephants free themselves from trap

Rescue work: Volunteers medically treat two Sumatran elephants whose legs were injured by a steel trap in Pancasila hamlet, Sei Lepan district, Langkat North Sumatra, on Monday. The elephants freed themselves after four days of being snared by the mechanism.(JP/Apriadi Gunawan)

After being trapped in a steel snare for four days, two wild Sumatran elephants in the Mount Leuser National Park (TNGL) managed to free themselves from the trap, although their legs were severely injured and infected.

The mammals were trapped in a community-owned oil palm plantation in Sei Lepan district, Langkat regency, North Sumatra.

Garendel Siboro, head of technical affairs at the North Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), said both of the elephants were females.

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Indonesian worker trampled to death by wild elephant

An Indonesian man was trampled to death by an elephant in Dumpas timber plantation area near here, earlier today.

District police chief Assistant Commissioner Fadil Marsus who confirmed the incident said the victim, a 48-year employee at the plantation died of head injuries after being trampled by a wild elephant.

“A distress call was received around 3.22pm to inform us that there was a victim who had died after an elephant attacked him at the Dumpas timber plantations near the border of Bombalai towards Kalabakan,” he told Bernama.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wild Aceh elephants guided back to forest

Human’s friends: Three domesticated elephants are taken on a patrol near oil palm plantations to drive away a parade of wild elephants in East Aceh on Monday. The wild elephants sometimes attack villages in the area.(JP/Hotli Simanjuntak)

Three trained elephants named Bunta, Lilik and Midok are being used to drive away their wild cousins that have been rummaging through farms and homes in Seumanah Jaya village, East Aceh regency, Aceh.

The regency administration deployed the three bull elephants from the East Aceh Serbajadi Conservation Response Unit (CRU) and others from the Saree Elephant Training Center (PLG) on Monday after receiving a report that a herd of wild elephants had often been trespassing into human settlements in the area.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Endangered Sumatran elephant found dead in western Indonesia; 17th death in 9 months

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Indonesian police say an endangered Sumatran elephant has been found dead at a rubber plantation, apparently poisoned by poachers.

It is the 17th Sumatran elephant found dead on the island of Sumatra since March.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Google Mapping Tool Exposes Illegal Logging

Conservationists working to save forests and species on the ground are looking to the sky, thanks to mapping tools and satellites that capture Earth like never before.

One project, Eyes on the Forest, is lifting the veil on forest loss in Sumatra, Indonesia, where demand for pulp, palm oil, rubber, and coal has created a nearly ”unstoppable wave of [illegal] deforestation,” said Michael Stuewe, a WWF-US scientist I met for breakfast this morning at the World Conservation Congress.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Elephants devastate oil palm plantations

Jon Afrizal, The Jakarta Post
May 1, 2009

A herd of 30 rampaging elephants in Serai Serumpun district, Tebo regency in Jambi, has destroyed dozens of hectares of oil palm crops since April 27, despite efforts by local residents to drive them away.

The elephants are believed to have ventured outside Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park (TNBT) in search of food. The elephants spread out quickly and devoured the young shoots of oil palm trees by uprooting the trees with their trunks, thus damaging the crops.

Farmers have been left fuming and at the same time terrified by the elephant attacks. Because the farms are located far from human settlements, the rogue elephants did not damage residents' homes. No casualties have been reported from any of the attacks so far.

"The elephants have ravaged plasma oil palm farms and nucleus plantations," said Sekutur Jaya villager Udin. Serai Serumpun district chief Kamal confirmed on April 29 that elephant attacks had become a regular occurrence in several villages in the district.

To read the full article click on the story title

ProFauna Calls for Indonesian Government’s Action to Stop Elephant and Tiger Poaching in Sumatra (press release)

April 24, 2009

Two elephants were ironically killed near Elephant Conservation Center in Sumatra. Government must take action to curb the killing leading to ivory tusk illegal trade.

Elephant and Tiger poaching in Sumatera get more rampant. ProFauna Indonesia, a wildlife protection organization in Indonesia, records the recent deaths of two female elephants named Gia and Paula in the Center of Elephant Conservation (PKG) in Seblat, Bengkulu, and Sumatra on 23rd March 2009. The two mammals died after being shot in their heads. Ironically, in Gia’s head was found a bullet which damaged her brain and caused severe bleeding.

The elephant killing in the area of the Center (PKG) of Seblat, Bengkulu was not the first time. Between 2004 and 2007, ProFauna found that at least seven elephants killed in the center. On 17th July 2007, a male elephant named Pratama was killed brutally, his head crashed and his
ivory tusks gone. Ironically, the perpetrators have not been revealed until now.

In addition to elephant poaching, the most poached endangered animal is the Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae). According to ProFauna’s survey in March 2009, 12 tiger snares were found by the Center of Elephant Conservation (PKG) of Seblat, Bengkulu. On 19th April 2007,Bornean Clouded Leopard was trapped by one of these tiger snares. The authority had found the suspect but the law was not enforced.

The wildlife poaching in the center in Seblat is further fuelled by the new road next to Air Sabai region. The road was built by loggers and is now used by a palm oil company to transport their harvest. The road facilitates poachers and hunters to do their illegal hunting on tigers
and elephants as well as other wildlife.

Elephant and tiger poaching in Bengkulu threat the protected animals and bring them towards extinction. “Police must fully enforce the law of the wildlife crime in Bengkulu. Without law enforcement, elephant and tiger poaching in Bengkulu will keep going on”, Radius Nursidi, ProFauna representative in Bengkulu stated.

ProFauna also demands the government and authorities including police and military forces to work together in tackling the poaching and trading of wild animals in Bengkulu. It is alleged that some of their officers commit the wildlife crime. In fact, the law is clearly stated that to poach and trade protected species is against the law and the offenders are liable to a maximum five year prison term and 100 millions IDR (10,000 USD) fine. If it is fully enforced, ProFauna believes that it will deter any wildlife crime.

Fossils of prehistoric elephant, leaf found in Blora

Suherdjoko, The Jakarta Post
April 23 2009

A fossil team from the Bandung Geological Museum and the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's Center for Geological Surveys has found the complete fossils of a prehistoric elephant and a prehistoric leaf in Blora, Central Java, a local official said Wednesday.

Blora Tourism and Culture Agency cultural division head Suntoyo said the findings were made in February at a former sand quarry in Sunggun village, Medalem subdistrict, Kradenan district.

"It's some 2 kilometers from the site where the fossil of a prehistoric elephant tusk was found in early January," he said.

The elephant fossil, of the species Elephas hysundrindicus, was found buried in 4 meters of dirt. It measured an estimated 2.5 meters tall, with back leg bones of 1.7 meters long.

"There have indeed been numerous findings of prehistoric animal fossils in Blora," Suntoyo said.

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2 rare elephants shot dead in Indonesian jungles

IRWAN FIRDAUS, Associated Press
March 31, 2009

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Two Sumatran elephants were found dead with gunshots to the head in a protected forest in western Indonesia, a conservationist said Tuesday.
Park rangers have been riding the animals for weeks in the Kerinci National Park and surrounding areas to prevent entry by illegal loggers, who have been clearing jungles at an alarming rate to make way for palm oil and other commercial plantations.
Though provincial conservation chief Andi Basrul refused to speculate on a motive for the shootings, he said they appeared to have been carried out by professional poachers.
Basrul said the Sumatran elephants were both 20-year-old females. Rangers found their bodies on March 24, hours after they were used for a patrol and several hundred yards (meters) from their camp.
Conservationists believe there are less that 3,000 Sumatran elephants remaining in the wild.
"It is a big blow to our efforts to protect these endangered animals," Basrul said.
The habitats of Sumatran elephants are quickly shrinking due to illegal logging and land clearing. That has led, increasingly, to clashes with humans, often because the starving animals stray into villages and destroy crops in their search for food.
An investigation will be carried out into the latest attack in Bengkulu province on Sumatra island, said Yatim Suyatmo, a police spokesman.

Wild elephants in Bengkulu under threat of extinction

March 21, 2009

Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - Wild elephants in Bengkulu province are under threat of extinction because illegal loggers and land squatters have begun to operate in areas close to the Seblat Elephant Training Center in North Bengkulu district, a local nature conservation official said.

If the illegal activities were not stopped soon, the forest corridor linking the Elephant Training Center with the Kerinci Seblat National Park would be breached and the habitat of elephants under the center`s care destroyed, Andi Basral, head of Bengkulu`s Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), said on Friday through Aswan Bangun, coordinator of the Seblat Elephants Training Center.

"We can do little to overcome the illegal activities because of lack of support from the local law-enforcing agencies," Bangun said.

The BKSDA had the authority to act against the illegal loggers and squatters but the agency`s personnel were limited in number and could therefore not achieve much, he added.

Bangun said about 1,500 heactares of the 6,865-hectare forest-covered zone belonging to the Seblat Elephant Training Center were now in seriously damaged condition because of the illegal activities.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Editorial on conflicts with elephants and tigers

The Jakarta Post
March 6, 2009

A number of Sumatran tigers and elephants have separately attacked human beings within the protected forests and residential areas in Sumatra's Riau, Jambi and Lampung provinces, killing 10 people and wounding dozens others, in the past five weeks.

In revenge, residents have hunted and killed four tigers, but only managed to draw the elephants away from their neighborhoods.

Is killing the Sumatran tigers, which are facing extinction, either in defense or in revenge of the tigers' attacks proper? Are only the tigers to blame? Don't human beings have the biggest share of blame for the animals' attacks?

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Deadly attacks shed light on Indonesia's human-animal conflicts

Agence France Presse
January 28, 2009

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AFP) — A spate of recent deadly animal attacks in Indonesia has thrown the spotlight on growing conflicts between humans and animals triggered by the rapid dwindling of the country's forests.
In the latest attack, two women were trampled to death by a pair of elephants in Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra island Tuesday after the elephants entered an illegally cleared field from nearby jungle.
The attack, from which another six villagers narrowly escaped with their lives, came just days after a rubber-tapper was reportedly killed by two rare Sumatran tigers as he urinated outside his hut in Jambi province, also on Sumatra.
The attacks are called human-animal conflicts, and they are a rising problem in Indonesia, an archipelago nation with some of the world's largest remaining tropical forests and a swelling population of 234 million people.
As people spread into previously untouched forests, big animals such as tigers, elephants and orangutans are being robbed of the large habitats needed to sustain their populations, Arnold Sitompul, the head of environmental group Elephant Forum, told AFP.

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Two women killed in elephant attack in Indonesia: official

Agence France Press
January 28, 2009

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AFP) — Two women were crushed to death when wild elephants attacked villagers in Indonesia's Aceh province, an official said Wednesday.
The two women were killed Tuesday when a pair of elephants trampled the hut in which they were sitting in a field outside the village of Jok in Aceh, a province at the northern end of Sumatra island, local district head Azahari Yacob told AFP.
"One woman was killed at the location and another one passed away on the way to the hospital," Yacob said.
"This is the first incident in the area. Before this, no elephants had come in and disturbed the community."
The provincial conservation agency sent a team including four tame elephants to chase away the wild elephants, Yacob said, adding that frightened villagers refused to return to the fields.
Conflicts between wild animals and humans have long been on the rise on Sumatra, where legal and illegal logging is rapidly reducing the tropical jungle.
The number of Sumatran elephants is also declining, with only 2,440 to 3,350 left in the wild, according to environmental group WWF.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Aceh Authorities Urged To Deal With Elephants Running Amok

Berita Sore
27 November 2008

Banda Aceh ( Berita ) : Local residents of Cot Pangee village have urged authorities in Aceh Jaya District to deal with elephants which have run amok and killed one villager.
“I notice that despite a casualty and damages in hectares of crops, there is no effort to solve the elephant problem in Cot Pangee village,” Saudi M Daud, an inhabitant of Aceh Jaya, on Thursday.
Since November 25, 2008, a herd of elephants have run amok in Cot Pangee village, around 130 km west of Banda Aceh. The herd killed a local resident identified as Muhammad Wali (30), destroyed one house, and rampaged through hectares of farmland and plantations doing serious damage to crops.

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Wild elephants kill one in Indonesia's Aceh province

Earth Times
November 26, 2008

Jakarta - A herd of wild elephants went on a rampage in Indonesia's north-westernmost province of Aceh, killing one person and destroying property, state-run media reported Wednesday. A herd estimated at 13 pachyderms entered Cot Pengee village in Aceh Jaya district during the past several days, forcing residents to flee their homes for safety.

Antara news agency quoted local community leader Iskandar Musa saying residents tried to drive the wild animals away with traditional methods, such as making loud sounds, but to no avail.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Increasing Elephant Attacks In Aceh Jaya

September 13, 2008

BANDA ACEH, Sept 13 (Bernama) -- Elephant attacks have been occurring with increasing frequency in Pantee in Aceh Jaya District during the past one month, ANTARA news agency reported quoting local sources as saying.

"Since they entered this region last August, the herds of wild elephants have destroyed crops on hectares of farm land," Abdul Hakim, a local farmer, told ANTARA on Saturday.

Some 13 Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) were currently in the outskirts of Ie Jeureungeh village and in a forest bordering the SP-V Patek transmigration area which abounds in plants favoured by elephants.

"We have tried many ways to drive them away, for instance by making fire balls but in vain," he said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Nanggroe Aceh Darrussalam natural resources conservation body (BKSDA), Andi Basrul, said the elephants had been driven out from their natural habitat by loud noises and human activities.

The population of the Sumatran elephants is currently estimated at 2,440 to 3,350. The elephants have been declared a protected species by the Indonesian government.

The Sumatran elephants, the smallest of the Asian elephants, are facing serious pressures arising from illegal logging and associated habitat loss and fragmentation in Indonesia.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Endangered Sumatran elephants and tigers get boost

August 28, 2008

GENEVA (Reuters) - Sumatra's endangered elephants and tigers should get a boost from an Indonesian government move to expand one of their last havens, a four-year-old national park on the island, conservation body WWF said on Thursday.

But WWF warned that increased efforts would be vital to ensure that poaching and other illegal activities -- like unsanctioned logging and settlement -- did not continue in the park, Tesso Nilo in Sumatra's Riau Province.

"This is an important milestone towards securing a future for the Sumatran elephant and tiger," said Mubariq Ahmad, head of WWF in Indonesia as it was announced in Jakarta that the park area would be more than doubled to 86,000 hectares (212,500 acres).

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Island's pits of despair

Sydney Morning Herald
June 25, 2008

Sakura was in big trouble. The three-year-old elephant had fallen backwards into a well three metres deep, and was trapped. She had been there for nearly two weeks without food or water. Her mother and the herd had finally given up and moved on.

Sakura's desperate calls were weakening and she was facing a lonely, lingering death.

Sakura is not the first baby elephant to be trapped in one of the thousands of abandoned wells in the forests of Sumatra, nor will she be the last.

Her story really starts 24 years ago, when the Indonesian Government gazetted the 130,000-hectare Way Kambas National Park in south-eastern Sumatra. Eight villages and about 4500 households were relocated. Each family left behind a well and a cesspit, which forest regrowth quickly covered.

Those hidden wells are a deadly legacy threatening the very animals the park is designed to protect. The lowland and swamp forest park is home to the rare Sumatran tiger (400 remain in the wild) and the equally threatened Sumatran rhinoceros (275 remaining). It also shelters the smallest sub-species of Asian elephant.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Illegal trade of wild animals alarming level

Apriadi Gunawan and Oyos Saroso H.N., Jakarta Post
June 6, 2008

The illegal trade and hunting of wild animals, including endangered Sumatran tigers and elephants, has reached alarming levels in several parts of Sumatra.

In Deli Serdang regency, North Sumatra, a forest ranger team on Tuesday arrested two people believed to be members of a wild animal trade syndicate.

They were caught while trading two stuffed Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) believed to have been a year old at the time of their death.

"This is not the first arrest we've made in the last month," head of the natural resource conservation center at the North Sumatra forestry office Djati Wicaksono said.

Just two weeks earlier, he said, his office arrested four people trading a Sumatran tiger skin in Tiga Binanga, Karo regency.

Both the skin and stuffed tigers were taken from Leuser, Southeast Aceh, Djati said. Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, has reportedly become a favored place for the illegal trade because there are many buyers in the city.

Mount Leuser National Park head Nurhadi Utomo said he suspected poachers might have help from the authorities as they seemed to have no difficulties smuggling their wares out of Aceh.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wild elephants attack plantations in Aceh

Antara News
May 21, 2008

Tapaktuan, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (ANTARA News) - A herd of 12 wild elephants wreaked havoc on local residents` plantations in Pinto Rimba and Ie Jeurneh villages, Trumon Timur District, recently.

"Tens of hectares of nilam (patchouli), soybean and oil-palm plantations were destroyed. We cannot do anything when the big animals come and destroy our crops," a local community leader, Jamadi Pohan, said here Wednesday.

The herd which included four baby elephants also damaged clean water distribution pipes in Ie Jeurneh village.

"The villagers are now beginning to face clean-water scarcities. We hope the authorities can send a team to tackle the problem which is causing us to suffer great financial losses," he said.

Previously, the protected animals also attacked farmers working in fields near their village at the foot of Mount Leuser.

There were no casualties in the recent incident but local residents are afraid the elephants would also attack their village.

Director of the Institute of Social Development Strategy Studies (Insosdes), T Masrizal, said elephants had begun to attack villages near the forest since January 2008 but no serious efforts were made to overcome the problem.

Elephants dying out in Indonesia as forests disappear

Karen Michelmore, Reuters
May 9, 2008

Indonesian farmer Toha insists he isn't scared of the wild elephants that raid his village.

But he does admit to many sleepless nights when the giant creatures are roaming around in desperate search of food.

"We throw rocks and stones at them, but sometimes it doesn't scare them," he says from his modest wooden home in a small village on the border of Sumatra's Tesso Nilo National Park.

"If we don't throw anything, they will not go away. Everything will be eaten if we do nothing."

Crop raids by elephant have become a common event for Toha, and for many other impoverished villagers living in settlements around Sumatra's last pockets of wilderness.

Elephants and humans are clashing more than ever before, as forests in Sumatra's Riau Province are stripped bare. And humans appear to be winning the fight.

For the full story click on the blog title

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Presumed Extinct Javan Elephants May Have Been Found Again - In Borneo

Science Daily
April 18, 2008

ScienceDaily (Apr. 18, 2008) — The Borneo pygmy elephant may not be native to Borneo after all. Instead, the population could be the last survivors of the Javan elephant race – accidentally saved from extinction by the Sultan of Sulu centuries ago, a new publication suggests.

The origins of the pygmy elephants, found in a range extending from the north-east of the island into the Heart of Borneo, have long been shrouded in mystery. Their looks and behaviour differ from other Asian elephants and scientists have questioned why they never dispersed to other parts of the island.

But a new paper published supports a long-held local belief that the elephants were brought to Borneo centuries ago by the Sultan of Sulu, now in the Philippines, and later abandoned in the jungle. The Sulu elephants, in turn, are thought to have originated in Java.

Javan elephants became extinct some time in the period after Europeans arrived in South-East Asia. Elephants on Sulu, never considered native to the island, were hunted out in the 1800s.

“Elephants were shipped from place to place across Asia many hundreds of years ago, usually as gifts between rulers,” said Mr Shim Phyau Soon, a retired Malaysian forester whose ideas on the origins of the elephants partly inspired the current research. “It’s exciting to consider that the forest-dwelling Borneo elephants may be the last vestiges of a subspecies that went extinct on its native Java Island, in Indonesia, centuries ago.”

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Borneo's pygmy elephant last survivor: WWF

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Leading conservation group WWF said Borneo's mysterious pygmy elephants might be the last survivors of the now-extinct Javan elephants.

Research by the WWF found no archaeological evidence of a long-term elephant presence on Borneo.

"Just one fertile female and one fertile male elephant, if left undisturbed in a good enough habitat, could in theory end up as a population of 2,000 elephants within less than 300 years," WWF's Junaidi Payne, who co-authored the paper "Origins of the Elephants Elephas Maximus", said Thursday.

"And that may be what happened here."

The paper says the Borneo pygmy elephants have smaller bodies than mainland Asian elephants. The Borneo male elephants may grow to less than 2.5 meters while Asian elephants can reach up to three meters.

The Borneo elephants also have "babyish" faces, larger ears, longer tails that reach almost to the ground and are more rotund. They are also less aggressive than other Asian elephants.

To read the full sory click on the title

Thursday, April 17, 2008


ProFauna Indonesia, a wildlife protection society, staged a protest in Bengkulu to demand that the enforcement of the law on those involved in the illegal trade of elephant tusks and tiger skins.

Elephant ivory tusks and tiger skins kept in the custody of the Natural Resources Conservation Unit (locally known as BKSDA) in Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia are believed to be stolen by dishonest officials of the department. The exhibits which have been confiscated from poachers and collected from 2002 to 2007 could fetch hundreds of millions of Indonesian Rupiahs. A pair of ivory tusks costs 300 Million Indonesian Rupiahs in the black market.

The trade of ivory tusks and tiger skins violates the 1990 wildlife law concerning the Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservations. The perpetrators are liable to a maximum five-year prison term and a maximum 100 million rupiah-fine. The evident is being traded illegally which show the government agency’s lack of control.

Law enforcement is necessary to reduce the declining elephant and tiger population in the wild. ProFauna’s data shows that the elephant population in Bengkulu province remains at around 160 and at 2400 – 2800 in Sumatra Island.

The decreasing population is largely due to habitat loss. Many forests in Sumatra are converted into palm oil plantations and industrial woods, leaving elephants with little territory to roam and feed on. In addition, Sumatran elephants are threatened by poaching for their tusks.

Radius Nursidi, ProFauna Bengkulu representative stated, “BKSDA and the police must probe into the case and enforce laws protecting our wildlife on the perpetrators”. ProFauna demands BKSDA Bengkulu to be accountable for the stockpiles of ivories and tiger skins under their custody. ProFauna has repeatedly urged the BKSDA for an explanation, but the government agency so far has reacted declined to comment.

Stop Ivory Tusk and Tiger Skin Trades

For further information, please contact:

Butet A. Sitohang

Wild elephants destroy oil palm tree owned by PT Agricinal

April 1, 2008

Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - A group of wild elephants in the Seblat Elephant Training Center (PLG) broke loose and damaged 1,256 oil palm trees of PT Agricinal in Putri Hijau subdistrict, North Bengkulu regency, and a security post near the plantation.

PLG Seblat coordinator Aswin Bangun said on Monday that the rampant illegal loggings and damage on the elephent training center had disturbed the elephants and eventually broke loose seeking for food.

The damaged oil palm trees not only belonged to PT Agricinal, but also to the local villagers living near the training center.

Aswin said that actually the elephants, 50 to 60 of them, have already started the attack in mid-February.

To overcome the elephants' attack, the plantation authorities has asked for help from the relevant authorities.

To read the full story click on the blog title

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wild elephants destroy hundreds of hectares of people`s plantation

Antara News
March 2, 2008

Tapaktuan (ANTARA News) - Three of wild elephants were reported to have trampled down hundreds of hectares of plantation area belonging to the residents of Kapa Sesak and Naca villages in Trumon sub-district, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD).

"Since the last one week, the wild giant animals have destroyed hundreds of hectares of residential plantation in some villages," head of the Trumon sub-district administration H Lahmudin said here on Sunday.

According to him, a band of wild elephants destroyed hundreds of hectares of crops, paddy, palm tree and patchouli farming areas.

He hoped that such troubles caused by wild elephants could be addressed by encumbent power elite as a wayout to stop further material losses inflicting local residents.

Such conflict between the elephants and human beings at the foot of Mount Leuser subsided after the wild elephants` trouble shooter team from the Natural Resources Conservation Agency in early January this year went to the location.

Kapa Sesak Village Head Alfandi and Pinto Rimba village Head Zakaria said a band of protected wild elephants attacked the plantation area in the afternoon till the evening.

"Much material losses suffered by the local residents and we hope a wild elephants` trouble shooter team could immediately go to the field to overcome the menace," Alfandi said. (*)

For the full story click on the blog title

Indonesia deforestation threatens elephants-WWF

27 February 2008

OSLO, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Deforestation in a single Indonesian province is releasing more greenhouse gases than the Netherlands, and the loss of habitats is threatening rare tigers and elephants, the WWF conservation group said on Wednesday.

It said that Riau province, covering one fifth of Indonesia's Sumatra island, had lost 65 percent of its forests in the past 25 years as companies used the land for pulpwood and palm oil plantations. Big peat swamps had also been cleared.

The changes meant Riau was "generating more annual greenhouse gas emissions than the Netherlands," according to the report by WWF and partners RSS GmbH -- a German forest monitoring group -- and Japan's Hokkaido University.

At the same time, the number of Sumatran elephants and tigers in the province plunged as the forests vanished, it said.

Trees store carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, as they grow and emit it when they burn

For the full story click on the blog title

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Elephants Patrol Border Between Man and Beast: A Novel Technique to Save Elephants Struggling to Survive in a Shrinking Wildnerness

December 11, 2007

SUMATRA, Indonesia

It's called the Flying Squad: Four elephants and a baby named Nella. Its mission? To patrol the increasingly contentious boundary between man and wild elephants on the edge of the Tesso Nilo National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia.

"An elephant will smash a motorcycle in one fell swoop. But [a] bull elephant going head-to-head with another bull elephant, that's a different story," explains Adam Tomasek, from the World Wildlife Fund. "In a way, they are the first responders."

When they meet a wild elephant that's threatening a village and they can't scare it away, the male elephants in the Flying Squad have to stand, lock tusks and fight, trying to drive the wild elephants away from crops before people take action.

To read the full story click on the blog title

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Number of RI endangered species unknown

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post
November 2, 2007

The government has said it is having difficulties identifying the number of native species in danger of extinction.

Director for biological diversity affairs at the Forestry Ministry, Toni Suhartono, said much of the existing information on the number of endangered species was based on predictions made before 2000.

"The inventory data on endangered species is a classic problem. Even we don't have exact data on the animal species kept in the country's zoos," Toni told a dialog on orangutan population here Thursday.

He said the conservation of endangered species had yet to become an important issue for government officials and the public.

"The nation's awareness, including among government officials, of the conservation of endangered species is very low. It is, therefore, not easy for us to propose budgets for conservation programs," Toni said.

He said conservation activists should set up groups to investigate endangered species.

To read the full story click on the blog title

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wild elephants kill 14-year-old boy on Indonesia's Sumatra island

The Jakarta Post
October 25 2007

JAKARTA(AP): A wild elephant trampled to death a14-year-old boy who drove into the animal on a motorbike on Indonesia's Sumatra island, a conservationist said Thursday.

The boy and his 42-year-old father had been riding home at dusk Wednesday when they hit the 3-meter-tall elephant as it crossed the road near their village in Bengalis district, said Rahmad Sidik of the local Conservation and Natural Resources Agency.

The elephant stamped on the teenager's head, killing him instantly and leaving him unrecognizable, while his father escaped with injuries, Sidik said.

It was the latest fatal incident involving elephants living near or in Bukit Barisan National Park.

In May, wild elephants searching for food in a village inside the park trampled a woman and her 3-year-old daughter to death.

Environmentalists say illegal logging and farming are destroying the endangered animals' natural habitats, forcing them to seek new feeding grounds.

About 2,500 elephants are believed to live in the park, about 200 kilometers northwest of the capital, Jakarta

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Indonesia seeks plan to save rare tigers, elephants


Aug 29, 2007

JAKARTA (Reuters) - More than 100 experts and officials met in Indonesia on Wednesday to try to draft an action plan to save Sumatran elephants and tigers threatened with extinction.

Satellite images show large areas of lowland tropical forests, the primary habitat for elephants and tigers, have been cleared on Sumatra island mainly due to farming and logging, the WWF conservation group said.

Between 1990 and 2000, a total of 8 million hectares (20 million acres) of lowland forests have been lost to development, the group said.

Shrinking habitats have led to conflicts with humans, resulting in the deaths of 42 people and 100 elephants between 2002 and 2007, said the group.

"Immediate action is needed to save threatened tigers and elephants and increasing conflicts between people and the animals," WWF Indonesia spokeswoman Desmarita Murni said.

To read the full story click on the blog title

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Elephant and tiger population in West Sumatra down

Antara News
July 12, 2007

Padang, West Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The population of tiger and elephant in West Sumatra`s 21 conserved forests has continued to decrease due to illegal logging activities and human encroachment.

"We don`t have the exact number of their current population. However, we believe that the number has tended to drop over the last five years," Indra Arinal, the head of the West Sumatra Natural Resource Conservation Office, said here on Thursday.

He estimated that the population of tiger in West Sumatra Province was currently about 50 heads.

Poaching has also threatened Sumatra`s tigers, he said. In 2006, three tigers died, and this year one tiger was killed by local residents.

To read the full story click on the blog title

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Villagers take 'joy' in driving off elephants

Oyos Saroso H.N., The Jakarta Post
July 10, 2007

Ulu Semong village in Ulu Belu district, Tanggamus regency, borders the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (TNBBS) in West Lampung, with its forest environs being hemmed only by Mount Gede. Its approximately 3,000 residents are no stranger to raids by wild elephants, which cause damage to the villagers' huts, rice fields and plantations.

A herd of seven Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatrensis) from the park usually attack this hamlet, ravaging and devouring villagers' crops such as rice, coffee, pepper, corn and chili. The wild elephants also trample down their cabins and huts near the paddies, which are on the herd's path to the plantation crops.

So far, local villagers have strived to prevent the elephants' entry to their settlements by using calcium carbide, sounding bamboo drums, swinging torches and other means. Every night, those living near the park's border zone patrol their area by turns to scare away the herd, which may rush in suddenly.

But the villagers tackle the routine job with joy, particularly it comes to drive the invading elephants back to the park.

"It's a kind of recreation for us. TV programs are our only entertainment every day. By moving in groups while lighting firecrackers called jedum, we sort of enjoy a new pastime," said Darwin, 47, village head of Ulu Semong.

To read the full story click on the blog title

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wild elephants destroy agricultures; frighten people in Aceh

The Jakarta Post
May 30, 2007

BANDA ACEH, Aceh Province (Antara): A number of wild elephants have destroyed agricultural fields and frightened residents of Babah Dua village, Nagan Raya regency, some 550 kilometers west of provincial capital of Banda Aceh.

"The elephants have frightened residents because they frequently run after them," Firdaus, one of the residents, told Antara news agency Wednesday.

According to Firdaus, hundreds of hectares of plantations and ricefields had destroyed the wild animals since the recent days.

Local Police chief Second Insp. Efendi confirmed the incident, saying that residents need help from the government, particularly, the Natural Resources Conservation Body (BKSDA) to escort the animals to their habitat.

Similar incidents were frequently reported from a number of villages near Sumatran jungle. Elephants and tigers often entered their villages due to intensive deforestations there. A number of people were killed by animal attacks

Monday, May 28, 2007

Elephants kill mother and daughter in Indonesia

28 May 2007

JAKARTA, May 28 (Reuters) - Wild elephants trampled a woman and her child to death on Indonesia's Sumatra island, an official said on Monday.

A herd of several elephants descended on a village just outside the Bukit Barisan Selatan national park on Saturday and attacked residents, said Lusman Pasaribu, the head of the park.

Police and forest rangers later found the bodies of the woman and her three-year-old daughter.

For the full story click on the blog title

Friday, February 02, 2007

Riau NGOs ask govt to stop forest sales

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
February 01, 2007
A coalition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) called on the government to cancel auctions for two selective logging concessions in Riau and Jambi, saying the move would endanger protected animals and threaten the livelihood of indigenous peoples.
Eyes on the Forest, a coalition of Riau NGOs, said the auctions of PT SWS's 124,000 hectare concession in Riau and PT IFA's 130,000 hectare concession in Jambi would endanger Sumatran tigers and elephants.
The two logging concessions are planned to supply the pulpwood industry.
The NGO coalition, comprising the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Indonesia, the Riau chapter of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) and the Working Network of Riau Forest Rescuers (Jikalahari), warned that companies would get licenses within the next few days to convert the forests to industrial timber plantations.

Click on the blog title for the full story

Sunday, January 21, 2007

WWF: Coffee Threatens Indonesian Animals

Associated Press
January 17, 2007
(AP) Coffee beans exported to the West are being illegally grown inside an Indonesian national park, threatening the habitat of endangered tigers, elephants and rhinos, the WWF said Wednesday.
Around 19,600 tons of coffee from the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park on Sumatra Island are mixed with legally grown beans by local traders and exported each year, according to the global conservation organization.
"If this trend of clearing park land for coffee isn't halted, the rhinos and tigers will be locally extinct in less than a decade," Nazir Foead, WWF-Indonesia's Director of Policy and Corporate Engagement, said in a statement.
"We think even the world's most committed coffee drinkers will find this an unacceptable price to pay for their daily caffeine buzz."

To read the full story click on the blog title

Sumatrensis elephant gives birth to female offspring

Antara News
January 19, 2007
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Sumatran elephant (elephas maximus sumatrensis, sp) in Minas conservation area in Siak district, Riau province, gave birth to a female offspring last week, an official of Sinarmas Forestry conservation division said.
"Malina (29)`s baby elephant born on January 9 is like a special New Year present. It is pleasing us," Sinarmas Forestry conservation division (APP) head Daniel Sinaga said in a statement which was made available here.
With the birth of the baby elephant named Bubu, number of the endangered animals in Minas area increased to 9. Bubu was conceived for 22 months.

To read the full story click on the blog title

Friday, December 01, 2006

Indonesian villagers threaten to kill rampaging wild elephants

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
November 30, 2006

Jakarta - Frustrated by a slow government response to help drive away rampaging wild elephants, farming villagers in Indonesia's Aceh province have threatened to kill the protected species, a local media report said Thursday.

Residents in South Aceh district, some 2,000 kilometres northwest of Jakarta, have repeatedly called on government authorities to drive away a herd of around 11 wild elephants that rampaged through their area during the past two weeks, destroying hectares of crops.

Tengku Zaimansyah, the villagers' leader, told the state-run Antara news agency that they have considered killing the pachyderms as a 'short cut' to rid themselves of the problem.

'Killing the wild elephants would be the best and quickest solution if the rampage continues unstopped,' Antara quoted Zaimansyah as telling a visiting local lawmaker.

Click on the blog title for the full story

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wild elephants run amok in Jambi

The Jakarta Post
November 29, 2006

JAMBI, Jambi: Six wild elephants have devastated hundreds of hectares of oil palm trees belonging to local smallholders in Tebo regency, Jambi.
Most of the damage to the farms, located near Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Sumay district, has been done at night, residents say. "The attacks usually start with the elephants 'crying' to each other. There is nothing we can do (to drive away the beasts)," said Bujang.

He said residents had tried fire and loud noises to drive off the elephants, but they always returned.

To read the full article from the Jakata Post click on the blog title

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wild elephants kill farmer, destroy houses on Indonesia's Sumatra island

Wild elephants kill farmer, destroy houses on Indonesia's Sumatra island
The Associated Press
October 31, 2006

PEKANBARU, Indonesia Wild rampaging elephants trampled a farmer to death and destroyed several houses in a village on Indonesia's Sumatra island, witnesses said Tuesday.

The people of Lubuk Embut, a village on Riau province 900 kilometers (600 miles) northwest of the capital Jakarta, have been terrorized over the last few days by a herd of around 20 starving elephants in search of food, said Jayok, a village chief who goes by a single name.

"We cannot sleep at night and are scared in the day by the sound of trumpeting elephants," he said.

The victim, whose body was discovered on Thursday, died near a protected forest that is home to about 180 to 250 elephants, he said.

For the full story from Associated Press click on the headline or here

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Indonesian Fires Threaten Orangutans and other Wildlife

Indonesian Fires Threaten Orangutans and other Wildlife
Nancy Amelia Collins,
Voice of America 17 October 2006

The endangered orangutan, elephants and other wildlife are facing the destruction of their habitats as fires - started by big companies and small farmers as a cheap way to clear land - burn out of control in Indonesia.

The orangutan reserve in Indonesian Borneo and elephants on the island of Sumatra are under threat from fires that have sent a choking haze across much of Southeast Asia. The fires are started each year by farmers and large companies, because they provide an easy way to clear land. The smoke usually spreads from Indonesia to the entire region, prompting health warnings and causing flight cancellations.

Stephen Brend, program director of the Orangutan Foundation at Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo, says illegal logging has contributed to making the fires difficult to control. "It's madness that people are still lighting fires, but they are, and they're loosing control of them because it's so dry," Brend says. "The situation has been made worse by the amount of illegal logging that's happened in the park, which has left a lot more combustible debris and dried out the peaty swamps so the place is more vulnerable to fire. The impact's massive."

The orangutans at the Tanjung Puting reserve are thought to number between four thousand and six thousand. Even at the lower number, this is one of the largest orangutan populations in the world. Brend says the fires have reached the core of the reserve. He says the situation
threatens the survival of orangutans not just in Indonesia, but globally. "If we are going to prevent extinction, these populations have to be saved," Brend says. "The loss of one of these populations would have an impact on the overall survival chances of the species. They're considered a critically important population."

Meanwhile, officials in Riau province on Sumatra say elephants may need to be moved out of a national park, after the fires destroyed nearly 100 hectares of land there. Indonesia's neighbors, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, sent officials to an emergency meeting in Indonesia last week, and urged Jakarta to quickly ratify a treaty that calls for regional cooperation to stop the burning.

Indonesian Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said on Monday that his country's legislators would "soon" ratify the agreement. But the only way to stop the fires already raging, officials say, is to wait for the annual rains, which are expected to arrive within the next few weeks.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Four elephants found dead in Riau forests

Four elephants found dead in Riau forests
Jakarta Post September 22, 2006 PEKANBARU, Riau (Agencies)

Four bodies of wild elephants have been found in the jungles of Riau province. Environmentalists suspected that the animals were dead after they were poisoned.

"Sample of the poison found near the dead elephant are being examined in laboratory," Samsuardi, an activist of WWF conservationist group was quoted by Antara news agency as saying.

One dead elephant was found at a forest near Segati village in Palalawan regency, while the three others were found at a timber estate owned by PT Siak Raya Timber. Samsuardi estimated the animals were killed one month ago. Meanwhile, Nurcholis Fadli also from WWF said that he believed villagers killed the elephants because they had been destroying crops, or because starving elephants had trampled at least four farmers to death last month. He said he believed the dead elephants were from the same family in Tesso Nilo National Park, where several other elephants were found dead earlier this year.

Fadli said the elephants had been covered with tree branches while roads leading to their location were blocked by logs, Fadli said. "There were strong indications that the animals were intentionally poisoned," Fadli was quoted by AP as saying in Pekanbaru. He urged authorities to take firm action to stop such killings. He said at least 20 wild elephants have been killed this year. Sumatra's elephant habitats are quickly shrinking due to illegal logging and land clearing. About 2,500 are believed to live wildon Sumatra.

Indonesia gives villagers tips on warding off wild elephants

Indonesia gives villagers tips on warding off wild elephants
Borneo Bulletin September 14, 2006

Faced with increasing conflict between elephants and people, Indonesia has been giving tips to villagers on how to calmly ward off the beasts, an official said Wednesday.

Some 50 people from villages in Sebuku, an area on Indonesian Borneo which neighbours the Malaysian state of Sabah, took a three-day course this week, said Mochamad Danang Anggoro of the East Kalimantan Nature Conservation Agency. "We provided them with two days training on how to detect the presence of elephants, how to face them, and how to ward them off," he told AFP.

The villagers were taught how to chase hungry elephants away without frightening them, such as using noise, lights and smoke, he said. The course included a third day of surveying the jungle to detect trails left by elephants and building early warning equipment, such as bamboo contraptions to alert villagers of approaching pachyderms.

Up to 60 Borneo elephants are believed to be living in the area around Sebuku, Anggoro said. "The rapid growth of palm oil plantations in the area has reduced their habitat and the elephants have been increasingly roaming out of their forests for food since 2005," he said. Last year incidents of elephants entering settlements were limited to about one a month but they had become increasingly frequent this year, he said.

The Kompas daily quoted Sebuku's local government head Jumianto as saying that 3,000 palm oil trees and 16 hectares (40 acres) of other crops had been destroyed by the animals since last year. Borneo elephants, of which only an estimated 1,000 remain, are smaller, tamer and better-tempered compared with their cousins on Sumatra, the only other island in Indonesia where elephants are found.

Wild elephants encroach human settlement

Wild elephants encroach human settlement
Antara News September 6, 2006
Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) -

A herd of wild elephants has encroached villages in Kampar and Rokan Hulu districts, Riau Province, over the past four days.

"The elephants intruding Kampar and Rokan Hulu are not the same animals which were spotted in the city a few days ago and moved to the Minas elephant training center," Riau Nature Conservation Agency (KSDA) Ali Nafsir Siregar said here on Tuesday. Residents of Kuapan and Ranah villages, Kampar District panicked when wild elephants entered their villages. I

n Pekan Tebih village, Rokan Hulu District, wild elephants came out of a nearby forest and ate paddies belonging to the local inhabitants. "The elephants entered the villages because their habitat has been disturbed so they lack food. Moreover, they have the habit of going back to the same routes," Siregar said.

The routes used to be forest areas but have been transformed into plantations, farm fields and human settlements. "That`s why the animals are often spotted there. The areas used to be their routes," Siregar said. Head of the Rokan Hulu Forestry Service Asril Astama also confirmed that parts of the home ranges of wild elephants were encroached by local villagers. "An elephant has a home range up to 200 km, while their home range has been transformed into human settlements and plantations," Asril said.

Despite the intrusion of Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus), there were no reports of damage or casualties in the villages.