Human-Elephant Conflict Rampant in Aceh as Habitat Loss Continues

Diana Mariska
Elephant illustration (Photo: Pexels/Katie Hollamby)
Elephant illustration (Photo: Pexels/Katie Hollamby) - The Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) said human-elephant conflict is rampant and almost becomes a daily occurrence in many regions in Aceh province as habitat loss and destruction continue to become the wildlife’s biggest threat.

BKSDA Aceh Region I’s head of conservation Kamarudzaman said the natural habitat of elephants in Aceh continues to be destroyed, and it results in conflicts between the animal and humans.

“Conflict with humans or other disturbance caused by elephants occur almost every day, and it’s caused by destruction or diversion in forest area which is their habitat,” Kamarudzaman said on Tuesday, July 19, as reported by Antara.

According to him, there are currently 500 to 600 elephants in Aceh, and among the regions in which human-elephant conflict often happens are Pidie, Bener Meriah, and East Aceh regencies.

In Pidie, such conflicts have been recorded in up to 65 villages in 11 subdistricts.

“We continue the effort to resolve the conflicts in Pidie. However, since the habitat has been destroyed, it has become an even more complicated task,” Kamarudzaman said, adding that authorities are also focusing to prevent the death of the animal.

Elephants are endangered and protected in Aceh. However, aside from conflict with humans, elephant hunting continues to threaten the population, too.

In many areas within the province, forests have been turned into oil palm plantation, and many elephants are trapped.

“In North Aceh regency, for example, we no longer have any idea where to lead the herds of elephants to because the forest has become palm plantation. And this triggers human-elephant conflict,” Kamarudzaman explained.

Earlier this month, residents of Seumanah Jaya village in East Aceh regency reported that dozens of wild elephants destroyed their houses and plantations while some locals were forced to evacuate.

“There are several houses and farm huts that have been destroyed by these elephant herds – as well as oil palm, banana, and rubber plantations,” Seumanah Jaya village resident Alamsyah said on July 1.

Tag # indonesia elephants # human elephant conflict # flora and fauna # natural resources conservation agency # bksda # aceh # elephants in indonesia

Latest news

Top Headlines