Initiative of Human- Elephant Conflict (HEC) by Local Community of Kampung Sukau, Kinabatangan, Sabah

Hilir Kinabatangan area is inhabited by “Orang Sungai” community, which depends mainly on Sungai Kinabatangan for their livelihood by practicing traditional fishing. This community is surrounded by 26,000 ha of Hilir Kinabatangan Wildlife Reserve, Forest Reserve and RAMSAR Wetlands. Living in an area that is surrounded by forest, the community is sharing their land with vast variety of wildlife especially the elephant and approximately 300 elephant is living close to them in the Kinabatangan area. The community have the highest respect to the elephant. They even called it “Nenek”.

Recently, oil palm has become a new, additional income to the community and many families have started their own planting of oil palm. Unfortunately, with 300 nenek living in close proximity, it has created a conflict between them. Thus, to mitigate the issue, in 2003, KOCP (Unit Bancian & Pengurusan Konflik Manusia- Hidupan Liar) was established which is fully funded by an NGO, HUTAN.

KOCP has developed several methods in mitigating HEC. Currently the 5 methods developed are by using noise where a group of villagers will make a lot of noise by shouting to chase the elephant away. Secondly, they used a spotlight and shone the bright light towards the elephant to chase them away.  The third method is by using megaphone and the noise produced was used to chase the elephant away. The 4th method is called “ladum” where a steel pipe about 2m long is filled with some Calcium Carbide and fired to create loud, explosive sound to scare the elephant away. The 5th method is the use of electric fence and it is the most effective method that the community is currently using in mitigating HEC.

Beside all the preventive methods used, HUTAN is also providing loan to landowner who wants to install electric fence to protect their land. HUTAN also provides training workshop to landowners on how to maintain their electric fence. In order to prevent the elephant from intruding their farm, Danau Girang Field Centre has also collaborate with local community to monitor the movement of the elephant herd by using radio collar. This will give them early warning if any of the elephant herd are getting close to their farm.

With all these efforts, the community has successfully managed to live together with the elephant in harmony and reduce the HEC incident.

Reviewed by: Ahmad Shahdan Kasim, Executive, SED

This presentation was presented during “MPOC/SWD Human-Wildlife Conflict Workshop” held on 22-23 November 2016 at FourPoints by Sheraton, Sandakan, Sabah. For the complete presentation, please click the link provided.

Manual Kawalan Konflik Manusia & Gajah oleh Penduduk Tempatan di Kg Sukau

Azri Sawang,

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