Why Sumatran Elephant Conservation Initiative ?

The Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) is on the brink of extinction with only a few viable populations left in the wild. The outlook for their long term survival is grim as many of the remaining Sumatran elephants live outside protected areas. It is anticipated that most of the very small populations and even some of the larger ones will disappear during the next few decades.

The driving force behind the extinction process is the rapid destruction of elephant habitat in Sumatra. Many elephants are forced to live in close proximity to people and agricultural land. While elephants are capable of living and surviving in commercially managed landscapes, their tendency to browse for food in fields and plantations has made elephants a pest in the eyes of those who have to endure their damages. Conflicts between people and elephants are frequently reported from regions of Sumatra where both parties occupy the same area and, after the destruction of habitat, these human-elephant conflicts (HECs) are regarded as the major threat to the species in Indonesia as well as other parts of Asia.

As there is almost no “untouched” elephant habitat left in Sumatra, the only way for the Sumatran elephant to survive in the wild will be to live side by side with his worst enemy: man. In contrast to many people living in Indonesia and internatially, we believe in the possibility of large mammals like tigers, elephants and orangutans coexisting with man.

The Sumatran Elephant Conservation Initiative supports projects which focus on human-elephant conflict mitigation and elephant habitat conservation in order to achieve our ulitmate goal:

 

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