Two critically endangered elephants have been electrocuted in Indonesia. We need your help to stop this happening again.Make your donation
Last October, two Sumatran elephants died when they stumbled onto an electric fence. Fences are frequently installed around peoples’ land in Sumatra as harmless deterrents to prevent elephants from destroying crops. But this fence had been linked up to the mains electricity and the shock was so strong it killed these two beautiful elephants who were just searching for food.
What’s the problem
There’s been a significant rise in conflict between people and elephants in Sumatra, leading to several elephant deaths and lots of damage to property. The conflict is over land. The elephants’ forests are being cleared to make way for palm oil plantations and this brings elephants into much closer contact with humans. This leads to conflict as local people struggle to protect themselves and their crops from elephants. But we’re funding a team to change what’s happening.
The Indonesian conservation authorities want to protect elephants by expanding protected areas for wildlife. But to do this they need to know the type of forest that best suits elephants – whether they favour denser forests, more canopy cover, or taller trees. We’re funding a team to gather this evidence. They’re tracking elephant travel routes by analysing dung to see what vegetation elephants prefer and where they’ve been.
With the information we’ll be providing, the Indonesian authorities can extend existing wildlife sanctuaries more strategically. They’ll be able to create safe corridors so elephants can get from one area to another, and build natural barriers to stop them entering areas where they may encounter conflict. If elephants can travel about more safely and become less of a danger to locals and their livelihoods, humans and elephants in Sumatra can co-exist more peacefully.