Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - Tens of Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus) living in limited production forests at the special function Elephant Training Center in Seblat, North Bengkulu district, are becoming increasingly isolated because of continuing encroachment on the habitat, a local official said.

"Elephants living in Seblat production forests are increasingly isolated because the forest corridor or Lebong Kandis production forest are being encroached on illegally, so the paths to Kerinci Seblat National Park (TNKS) are now closed," said Head of Bengkulu`s Natural Resources Conservation Center, Amon Zamora.

He explained, on the north side of elephant training center there are also encroachment and plantations owned by Alno company while on the west there are plantations of Agricinal company, whereas on the south there are Sukamerindu village residents.

The conditions causes the elephants living in Seblat elephant training center are isolated and the only hope is to unify the area forest production areas become a part of the Seblat and improve the status to be a nature tourism park wildlife.

Amon noted, currently, the area covers 6,800 hectares and expanded into more than 15 thousand hectares in which Lebong Kandis production forests included in the expansion so that the protected species` cruise lines is broader.

"Ideally, one elephant needs 400 hectare land, therefore if there are 80 elephants at least needs 32 thousand hectares," he added.

The habitat which increasingly desperate due to the encroachment of logging and the expansion of private plantations causes the level of conflict between humans and elephants continue to rise.

Data on the most obvious increase in conflicts occurred in 2007 and 2009 which were 21 conflicts per year.

Losses resulting from the conflict is estimated at Rp500 million per year, assuming a loss of elephants demolished huts is Rp5 million and palm trees is Rp25 thousand per plant.


Editor: Suryanto
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