Conservation

Work Begins

This month we started on the pre requirements for the proposed electric fence we plan on building during march.

The first step in providing a safe and healthy environment for the conservation center elephants in Seblat, North Bengkulu, Sumatra is to make sure there is a good food supply. The first step is to repair the fencing for the 2 hectare lot that was once a flourishing plantation of king grass of which the mahouts would readily cut klumps for overnight food for the elephants. Sadly the fence is in disrepair, which allows the wild pigs to get in and feed on crops and nothing much remains.

This will soon become the main food source to provide the elephants when they settle inside their home each night. Once all the holes are discovered and patched new crops will go in and soon flourish. Time to get to work…

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New MoU in Place

To support our elephant conservation efforts head to the official Berdiri website http://berdiri.org

This month is a landmark for us here at Berdiri. We have signed a new 3 year MoU with the local conservation agency (BKSDA) here in Bengkulu to continue on the much needed conservation efforts for the critically endangered Sumatran elephants. The next three years will entail a few projects. First and our focus for now is to implement an electric fence for the camp elephants of PLG Seblat so they can be chain free, free to roam and socialize and to encourage the opportunity to breed.

This is the beginning of a long term plan and there will be many small, medium and large projects to aid in the conservation of the critically endangered elephants here is Sumatra.

A big thank you to those that have stuck by awaiting to make this happen. Especially the amazing conservation team of Tulsa Zoo.

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EoS Book Excerpt (Elephants of Sumatra) – The Projects

Below is a sample extract from the up coming Elephants of Sumatra – The Final Stand documentary photography book being published in support of the critically endangered sumatran elephants and the various projects we have, projects we support directly in the field or indirectly by other means. The final product will be a 100 page photography documentary book created by Berdiri Founder Bruce Levick based on the back of 3 years in the field documenting

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RIP Yongki

Jakarta. Authorities in Indonesia have launched a formal investigation into the death of an iconic Sumatran elephant at a national park who was believed to have been killed by poachers for his tusks.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said in Jakarta on Wednesday that she had ordered a coordinated probe into the death of the popular bull elephant, affectionately known as Yongki, saying,

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Elephant Response Unit – Way Kambas

Last week we took a field trip to the Way Kambas National Park in South Sumatra to present some new technologies to the current existing Elephant Response Units working around the borders of the Way Kambas National Park. The ERU (Elephant Response Units) work the borders of the National Park to mitigate HEC (Human Elephant Conflict) and also patrol for illegal activity.

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Presenting and testing the drone in the Way Kambas National Park.

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Presenting and testing the drone in the Way Kambas National Park.

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photo of the southern camp of Way Kambas taken during our drone tests

We have presented an opportunity for the ERU teams to utilise drone technology along with infrared cameras to help search the surrounding areas for potential wild herds on the move towards neighbouring villages to better prevent future HEC.

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The elephant patrols in action

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The elephant patrols in action

The proposal for the use of drone technology can also be used to assist in the search for potential illegal activity within the national park such as poachers and illegal loggers.

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Bath time before patrol

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Morning bath time before heading out for patrol

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Cooking up supplements for the patrol elephants

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Preparing the supplements for the patrol elephants

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Drone view of the ERU team camp

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Drone demonstration for the ERU team

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Kenya Unites for Elephants and Rhinos

On 4 October, over 130 countries joined a global march to protect elephants and rhinos
referred to as the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos (GMFER). This widely participated
global march coincided with the World Animal Day.

In Nairobi, more than 1,000 people trekked a 10 kilometres route passing the downtown
traffic and hooting cars in response to signs held by marchers that read

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Help is Definitely Needed

This is a very interesting article and a new perspective on the conservation initiatives in Malaysia and Indonesia. Showing that the government are throwing out impossible statistics when I myself see first hand the loss of critically endangered wildlife every month and know just as well as Erik Meijaard that these statistics are just not true (impossible). As I write this the haze of smoke covers south Sumatra from the illegal forest fires burning off forests for new crops leaving the critically endangered wildlife with nowhere to go but in conflict with the locals and eventually death for the animals.
The resonating factor in this article is the conservation efforts truly need an overhaul if any kind of success to prolong the dynamic species of Indonesia is to be fruitful.

a culture that doesn

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New Deaths of Sumatran Elephants in Riau

It’s been a tragic week for the Sumatran elephant with 7 new deaths recorded in the Riau province of Sumatra near the Tesso Nilo National park. Poisoning is suspected and is becoming more and more common as elephants are forced to enter village areas when their habitat is continuously being destroyed to make way for crop land, majority being for palm oil. Villagers tend to take action on their own and poison the elephants to stop the destruction of food crops that the elephants eat. So the question being asked, “Is palm oil killing elephants?”, the answer is a most definite yes and more than anything else combined.

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Illegally burning and clearing forests the vital habitat is causing more and more elephant conflicts throughout Sumatra.

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New Conservation Tool

A new tool is becoming a key aspect to fighting for crucial habitat that remains for the critically endangered wildlife. Satellite monitoring is keeping up the fight for the habitat of endangered animals, going one step further than that of google maps. Where remotely areas within google maps are normally pixelated the satellite monitoring program takes high res images and can identify people and the types of trees in remote areas. No longer can illegal loggers and miners hide their dirty work, this is great news for the future of vital habitats around the world.

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Historical Ruling in Palm Oil Case

It seems an inkling of common decency has found it’s way through Indonesian law. It’s not often a law is upheld and then enforced as in this new case. It’s a welcome change and it turns out there is a small ray of hope for the wildlife and the habitats that remain throughout Sumatra. Report below.

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An Indonesian court has ordered a palm oil company to pay almost $30 million to the state for illegally clearing peatland in a “historic” ruling, lawyers said Thursday.

The Meulaboh district court on Sumatra island ruled late Wednesday that Indonesian company Kallista Alam had illegally burnt vegetation on 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of peatland in Aceh province to clear it for a palm oil plantation. Read the full report…

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