Here is an article from the jakarta globe to illustrate points l made in previous blogs.The unbridled destruction of Sumatra’s forests over the past 20 years is the main reason for the 44 percent decline in the Sumatran elephant population during that period, wildlife activists said on Monday.
Donny Gunaryadi, the elephant program coordinator at
the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Indonesia program, said the wild
elephant population on the island had dropped from around 5,000 in 1992
to just 2,800 today.
“The high rate of habitat destruction, land
use changes and increased threats from poaching and conflicts with
humans are all factors in the decline of the population of this
protected species,” he said.
Sunarto, the species conservation
program coordinator at WWF Indonesia, said it was crucial to conserve
the region’s remaining forests in order to ensure the survival of
wildlife such as the Sumatran elephant and tiger.
up of forested areas that are of prime importance to tigers and
elephants must be halted immediately,” he said. “It is also high time
that land use policies for forested areas began incorporating ecological
considerations to prevent human-animal conflicts.”
activists were speaking at a workshop in Banda Aceh organized by the
Indonesian Elephant Conservation Forum (FKGI), in cooperation with the
WCS, WWF and Fauna-Flora International.
Participants at the
event all agreed on the importance of stemming habitat loss from illegal
logging and clear-cutting of forests, which also threatens other
species indigenous to Sumatra.
Satellite imagery of the change
in forest cover in Sumatra’s lowland areas shows that 8 million hectares
were wiped out between 1990 and 2000, Sunarto said.
continued, coupled with the fact that much of the natural habitat of
elephants and tigers fell outside of protected areas, meant the risks to
the already critically endangered species was only increasing. “That’s
why I believe that the protection of the elephant and tiger’s habitat is
the most important factor in saving the species,” he stressed.
also needs to be more stringent enforcement against the illegal
clearing of forests, poaching and selling of wildlife.” In order for any
elephant conservation program to prove effective, Sunarto said there
needed to be an action plan and strategy supported by all stakeholders,
particularly the government.
Also crucial was a push for a
“win-win solution” that would boost conservation without impinging on
the economic development of forest communities.
Donny said there was an urgent need to get the message across to the Forestry Ministry.
hope is that conservation efforts for the Sumatran elephant will be
better coordinated and managed after this workshop,” he said.