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.

To read the full article click on the story title



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.

To read the full article click on the story title

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)

Live-PR
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.

To read the full article click on the story title

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

ANTARA News
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.

To read the full article click on the story title

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?

For the full article click on the story title

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.

For the full article click on the story title

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.

For the full article click on the story title

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.

For the full article click on the story title

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.

For the full article click on the story title

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Increasing Elephant Attacks In Aceh Jaya

Bernama
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

Reuters
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).

For the full article click on the story title

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.

To read the full article click on the story title


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.

To read the full article click on the story title


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.”

To read the full story click on the blog title


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 DEMANDS THE INVESTIGATION INTO THE MISSING ELEPHANT IVORY TUSKS AND TIGER SKINS

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 international@profauna.org

Wild elephants destroy oil palm tree owned by PT Agricinal

Antara
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

Reuters
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

By NICK WATT, ABC News
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

Reuters

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

Reuters
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.

http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-10-17-voa11.cfm

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Four elephants found dead in Riau forests

Four elephants found dead in Riau forests
Indonesia
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.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillgen.asp?fileid=20060922173957&irec=0

Indonesia gives villagers tips on warding off wild elephants

Indonesia gives villagers tips on warding off wild elephants
Borneo Bulletin September 14, 2006
JAKARTA (AFP)

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.

http://www.brunei-online.com/bb/thu/sep14b4.htm

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.

Wild Elephants Run Amok, Kill Five Residents in Indonesia

Wild elephants run amok, kill five residents in Indonesia
People's Daily Online August 20, 2006

A number of elephants ran amok and killed at least five residents recently in Tangganus and East Lampung district, Indonesia's Lampung Province, on southern Sumatra island.

Most of the victims' bodies were ripped by the wild animals, while the crops in the farming areas belonging to local residents were destroyed, Antara news agency on Sunday quoted an officer of the province's forestry representative office as saying. Conflicts between wild elephants and local residents living near forest areas in Indonesia have reportedly been taking place for years without any satisfactory solution.

In Riau Province, some 51 wild elephants have destroyed a number of villagers' houses and over tens of hectares of palm oil plantation areas at Balai Raja, Bengkalis District, in the past few months. Two villagers were hurt in the attacks by the wild elephants, Balai Raja Village Head Samudji AMP said.

In the past two months, at least five times the wild elephants have run amok, he said. He urged the provincial authorities to capture and relocate the elephants to an area far from human settlement.

Meanwhile, Head of Riau Conservation Section Ali Nafsir Siregar said he had been informed about the elephants which ran amok. The village is near a protected forest which is also the habitat of Sumatran elephants. Some farmers have encroached the protected forest to open new farming areas. The human encroachment triggered the elephants to attack the villager's houses, he said.

Environmentalists in Indonesia have recently urged the government to investigate irregularities in elephant catching procedures which have caused a number of elephants to die in the past few years. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia, the Riau Administration had caught 201 wild elephants since 2000, and at least 46 of the animals had been killed due to inappropriate procedures in relocating them, the Media Indonesia daily reported recently.

The population of elephants in Riau Province has declined by around 75 percent, from around 1,067-1,617 elephants in 1983 to only 353-431 elephants in 2003.

http://english.people.com.cn/200608/20/eng20060820_295104.html