Illegal Wildlife and Ivory Trade Spike Elephant Deaths

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Jakarta (Greeners) – A series of elephant deaths occur not only to wild ones but also to a patrol elephant, Yongki, which was recently found dead at Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park.

Elisabeth Purastuti of Indonesian Elephant Conservation Forum said elephant deaths caused by illegal hunting and ivory trade has been increasing.

In addition, at least 85 percent of Sumatran elephant population was outside conservation areas leading to unavoidable conflict between man and elephant.

“There were at least 78 elephants found dead between 2014 to 2015,” said Elisabeth at a seminar dubbed ‘Indonesia Elephant Conservation : Stop Its Extinction’ as part of Hello Nature 2015 event in Jakarta, Saturday (14/11).

Furthermore, Elisabeth said that despite of lots of cases linked to illegal wildlife trading, only few managed to go to court.

In addition, minimum penalties for Illegal traders resulting to less deterrent effect.

If there is no action, then Indonesian elephant will left to extinction.

Indonesia is home to two elephants, Sumatran elephant with 1,724 individuals (FKGI, 2014) and Borneo elephant or pygmy elephant with 20-80 individuals (WWF dan BKSDA, 2008).

In 2011, due to declining population, Sumatran elephant was categorized as critically endangered at Red List of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

Reports by Danny Kosasih

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