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.


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


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


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.


The elephant patrols in action


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


Drone view of the ERU team camp


Drone demonstration for the ERU team

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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.


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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Sting Operation Proves Successful

More good news coming out of the Aceh province of Sumatra. The good work from the Indonesian police.

Police in Indonesia

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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.


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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New Critical Forest Map Data

Lately there has been a lot of new map data released revealing the state of the earths forests and the alarming trend of increasing destruction vs regeneration. Indonesia has had the biggest forest losses in the last 12 years along with Brazil. For such a tiny nation with a diverse variety of wildlife it is quite sad to see.


100+ most critical forest areas of the world

The biggest changes in forests of the world

The biggest changes in forests of the world

Brazil and Indonesia

Brazil and Indonesia

Top 15 countries with the biggest forest loss

Top 15 countries with the biggest forest loss

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The Road to Extinction – Sumatra

Presious forests of Sumatra

Presious forests of Sumatra

A new 51km road has been proposed to run 850 coal trucks per day to help more quickly provide coal to power stations across South East Asia. This would divide the Harapan rainforest, which

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RSPO Always Set to Fail

palm oil factory
A new damning report has surfaced on the RSPO (round table of sustainable palm oil), which sheds light on the obvious reality. It shows that this round table organisation is not achieving the required results and it’s not surprising considering that it is voluntary for member companies to be on board with the sustainability process. If they break the rules they simply opt out of participating in the sustainability process.

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Palm Oil, Pulp and Paper and the Sumatran Tiger

Palm Oil Is Killing the Sumatran Tiger

Greenpeace report accuses illegal and excessive palm oil export for driving the Sumatran tigers to the phase of extinction. It says that the world is getting addicted to palm oil products, no matter if it is mascara, or the laundry detergent, or even some yummy cookies. Indonesia is making a lot of money out of it, being the biggest palm oil exporter, but this is not as simple as it seems. Production comes with a lot of costs, including encroachment of rain-forests, land clearing, which often results in acrid smog.

Between 2009- 2011, Indonesia lost some 1.24 million hectares of forests, which were mainly the habitats of Sumatran tiger. This massive land clearing resulted in sudden extinction of Sumatran tigers, which are now just 400 left on the planet. See full details at: http://world.time.com/2013/10/31/palm-oil-is-killing-the-sumatran-tiger/


Indonesian police investigating murder stumble on secret zoo containing liger

While investigating the death of a 23 year old woman, murdered by a maintenance worker in Jakarta, officers discovered a mini zoo in the suspected villa. More than a dozen animals were discovered from the mini zoo, including several species of monkeys, a tiger, Javan peacocks, Timorese deers, rare species of dogs and geese. The most unusual animal discovered was a

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