|Date||20 Jul 2015|
The critically endangered Sumatran elephant has been driven to the brink of extinction by massive habitat destruction that has caused intense human-elephant conflict and extirpation of many populations.“Hutan Harapan” - as the Harapan Rainforest is called in Indonesian - means “forest of hope”. This ex-logging area of just under one thousand square kilometres (100.000 ha) was awarded to PT. REKI, a company established to manage Harapan Rainforest for the next one hundred years in order to restore the biological balance and productivity of the forest. Providing large and comparatively safe lowland forest habitat, Harapan Rainforest could become one of the most important keystone areas for elephant survival in Indonesia. However, only very little reliable information on the resident elephants is available, which hampers sound conservation planning and effective human-elephant conflict mitigation. Tracking forest elephants in the tangled Sumatran jungle using field teams is very difficult and expensive. Satellite telemetry represents currently the most cost-efficient and most effective method to overcome the main challenges of forest elephant monitoring and can provide both data needed for conservation activity planning and conflict mitigation. Turning conflict into coexistence will not only help elephants but also stabilize the live of rural farming communities.
Within the project period of performance one female elephant will be collared and then closely monitored for at least one year. Information and data gathered during this project will allow to develop a long-needed site-specific elephant conservation action and management plan for Harapan Rainforest and, more importantly, support on the ground human-elephant conflict mitigation, elephant protection, and baseline research using satellite telemetry applied in cooperation with local communities, local ranger teams, wildlife authorities, and local universities.
The project will be implemented on the ground by Harapan Rainforest / PT REKI in cooperation with the wildlife research and management division of the faculty of forestry, Gadjah Mada University (UGM).
For further information contact: