Elephants Herd Destroys Oil Palm Replanting Area in Aceh

Arfi Bambani
Elephants herd destroys oil palm plantation in Aceh Sumatra
Elephants herd destroys oil palm plantation in Aceh Sumatra - A herd of wild elephants ransacked a replanting area in Alue Rubek Gampong Gunong Buloh, Panga District, Aceh Jaya Regency. The herd has occupied the area since two days ago.

"The elephants arrived about two days ago. Currently, the herd of wild elephants is still at the replanting area," said a resident, Minal Khairi, in Calang, Aceh Jaya, Thursday, August 25, 2022.

He explained that the wild elephants disturbed the land ready for planting and seedlings with an estimated almost half of the existing 289 hectares of land. "For the land itself there is an area of 289 hectares and it is estimated that almost half are disturbed by elephants," he said.

Minal Khairi also added that for now the team from Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and forest rangers are also at the location trying to drive the wild elephants out of the replanting area.

Previously, BKSDA stated that elephant-human conflicts occurred almost every day in a number of areas in Aceh Province. The Head of the Conservation Section for Region I BKSDA Aceh Kamarudzaman said the elephant conflict occurred because the habitat of the protected animal was disturbed and damaged.

"Conflict or disturbance of elephants against humans occurs almost every day in Aceh. This happens because the forest area which is the habitat of protected wildlife has been damaged or disturbed and has changed its function," said Kamarudzaman.

He said the elephant population in Aceh Province is estimated at 500 to 600 individuals. Areas where elephant-human conflicts often occur include Pidie District, Bener Meriah District and East Aceh District.

Sumatran Rain Forest is included in UNESCO world's heritage site. The 2.5 million hectare Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra site comprises three national parks: Gunung Leuser National Park (in Aceh and North Sumatra provinces), Kerinci Seblat National Park (Jambi, Bengkulu, and West Sumatra provinces) and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (Lampung and South Sumatra provinces).

Based on UNESCO, the site holds the greatest potential for long-term conservation of the distinctive and diverse biota of Sumatra, including many endangered species. The protected area is home to an estimated 10,000 plant species, including 17 endemic genera; more than 200 mammal species; and some 580 bird species of which 465 are resident and 21 are endemic. Of the mammal species, 22 are Asian, not found elsewhere in the archipelago and 15 are confined to the Indonesian region, including the endemic Sumatran orang-utan and Sumatran elephant.

Tag # sumatran elephant # elephant # indonesia biodiversity # sumatran tropical rain forest # aceh # oil palm plantation # palm oil industry

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