Research conducted by WWF-Indonesia’s from 2007 until 2011 has revealed the existence of Borneo elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) with estimation of wild population of 20-80 elephants in northern part of East Kalimantan, bordering to Sabah, Malaysia.
However, forest encroachments for oil palm plantations result in the decreasing habitat and home range of this endemic elephant.
The loss of Borneo elephant’s—also well known as “Pygmy elephant”— habitat and home range has pushed the species into conflict with human. To reduce the risks of human – elephant conflict, particularly in Tulin Onsoi Sub-district, Nunukan District, East Kalimantan, WWF-Indonesia along with local forestry agencies and government has facilitated the establishment of Elephant Conflict Mitigation Task Force. Members of this task force are recruited from local communities to carry out elephant conflict mitigation activities.
Today, the main habitat of Borneo pygmy elephants are at the top of the rivers on north of East Kalimantan bordering to Malaysia. Some are included in the consession area possessed by PT. Adimitra Lestari.
On 19-20 April 2011, WWF-Indonesia through Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) together with PT. Adimitra Lestari, organized a training on Borneo elephant conflict mitigation for their field staff.
It is hoped that staff will be able to take proper actions to avoid elephant conflict, such as making a carbide cannon, (a local method to drive away the elephant), and how to integrate elephant conservation action into their practical work (such biodiversity monitoring-evaluation system and reduced impact logging).
When the training took place, members of the Indonesian army were doing border expedition, and voluntarily participated in the training. They were actively engaged in the discussion, and willing to take part in protecting the elephants, as during their activity they sometime happened to spot elephants in and out of the country border.