Photos: Detik.com, Tribunnews.com, Aceh Portal [1], [2], Forest Nature and Environment Aceh Facebook and Waspada Online

Indonesia: Pregnant Elephant ‘poisoned’ in Indonesian palm plantation
27th December 2017;

A pregnant Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) has been found dead in a palm oil plantation on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, in what authorities suspect was a deliberate poisoning, an official said Wednesday.

The animal’s body was found near the remote Seuneubok Bayu village in Aceh on December 22, after authorities received a tip off from locals, Aceh conservation centre head Sapto Aji Prabowo told AFP.

“The 25-year-old Elephant had been dead for around 10 days when we got there,” he said.

"From the autopsy, we saw that its digestive organs turned black which the doctor said was a general indication of poisoning.”

The Sumatran Elephant was carrying 13-month old male foetus and was at least six months short of giving birth.

Locals have told authorities that several days before the carcass was discovered farmers had complained an Elephant ate their fertilizer.

Sumatran Elephant are critically endangered and a protected species, but rampant deforestation for plantations has reduced their natural habitat and brought them into conflict with humans.

At least 11 wild Elephants died in Aceh this year, most of them killed by humans, according to Prabowo.

In January, authorities found a dead Elephant without tusks in Aceh, along with its abandoned 11-month-old calf.

Source: AFP, via Jakarta Post

Around 38 carcasses of Monkeys suspected to have been poisoned were found in an old quarry near Bukit Larut, Taiping on December 21, 2017.
Photo: Marcus Pheong

Malaysia: Troop of Monkeys fatally poisoned near Taiping
By John Bunyan, 21st December 2017;

A herd of 38 monkeys was found dead from suspected poisoning at an old quarry near Bukit Larut, Taiping this morning.

A member of Persatuan Kepolisan Komuniti Aulong Taiping Perak spotted the carcasses and reported it to the authorities today.

The monkeys were believed to be Long-tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis).

Taiping Zoo & Night Safari director Dr Kevin Lazarus said they sent veterinarians to the spot after they were informed of the discovery

“Our veterinarians rushed to spot and discovered 38 carcasses of Monkey. We believe the Monkeys were poisoned at a different place and dumped at the quarry.

"We suspected the Monkeys were poisoned as there were no external injuries on the animal.

"We have taken samples from the Monkeys and send it to the laboratory for testing,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.

He also said this was the first incident of such a scale in Taiping

Dr Kevin said they also reported the incident to the Wildlife and National Parks Department for further action.

Source: Malay Mail

Wildlife Rescue Unit rangers assisting one of weak Elephants to come out of the pool.

Malaysia: Danger lurking at their doorstep
By Muguntan Vanar, 2016;

The area where the seven Borneo Pygmy Elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) drowned in a mud pool in Sabah’s southern Kalabakan is part of the home range for satellite-collared jumbos roaming around the Maliau Basin Conservation Area.

WWF Malaysia head for conservation in Sabah Dr John Tay said that the tragic deaths were worrying because the movement patterns of one of the collared herds showed that the area was part of their home range.

“Sabah’s protected areas are wildlife havens. If steps are not taken to prevent this tragedy from recurring, we may find other wildlife species falling victim as well,” he said.

In the incident on Sept 10, five Elephants including two newborn calves, were found dead at a mud pool from an abandoned quarry in a secondary forest area of Rinukut in Kalabakan.

Two others that were dehydrated and blind, had to be put to sleep while another two fled after being freed by wildlife rangers.

Dr Tay, however, said that the herd of nine that were trapped in the mud pool was not among those collared under the tracking programme.

“We are quite concerned to find out that this tragedy happened quite close to priority conservation areas such as Maliau Basin Con­servation Area which is a totally protected area,” he said.

He appealed to companies operating close to forests and protected areas to demonstrate due consideration for wildlife in Sabah.

Dr Tay described the recent accidental deaths as a huge blow to the conservation of the Elephants whose population was estimated to number less than 2,000.

“As its name suggests, this species is only found in Borneo and most of them call Sabah home.

"Conservationists call these giants the engineers of the forests because they play multiple roles to keep our forests healthy, and everyone depends on the forests for their survival,” he added.

He said that WWF-Malaysia collars several herds in the central forests of Sabah to study their space usage, monitor movement and also to advocate for joint mitigation options with government agencies and plantations where these Borneo Elephants roam.

“Borneo Elephants do not have a natural predator in the wild.

"However, the biggest threat to their existence is the loss of habitat. This happens when forests are converted fot other land uses,” he said.

He said another serious threat to Elephants in Sabah was human-Elephant conflicts.

“So far we have received reports of suspected retaliatory killings, whereby Elephants were shot or poisoned because of the crop damage that they caused.

Some Elephants have also been accidentally killed when they were trapped by snares set out by poachers for other wildlife species,” he said.

Source: The Star

Malaysia: Conflict with humans more of a threat for jumbos

16th September 2016;

Sabah’s dwindling Borneo Pygmy Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) population is more threatened by conflict with humans amid forest clearing for agriculture than by accidental and natural deaths, says a conservationist.

Dr Marc Ancrenaz, who heads the non-governmental organisation Hutan that works with the state Wildlife Department, said deaths through poisoning and shooting took a toll every year on the roaming Elephants, which are estimated to number between 1,500 and 2,500.

“Every year, we believe there are quite a number of Elephants dying due to poisoning or being shot dead by people trying to stop them from destroying their plantations,” he said.

Human-Elephant conflict, said Dr Ancrenaz, had become unavoidable because as large tracts of jungles and forests were cleared for agricultural and development purposes, these Elephants continued to venture into such areas which were their traditional habitat.

“Our forests are fragmented from (Sabah’s eastern) Kinabatangan to (southeastern) Kalabakan in Tawau.

"The fragmentation of our forests will continue to create conflict with villagers and planters because these Elephants need to find food,” he said. “Their isolated forest is not sufficient for their foraging needs.”

“We still need more corridors to link the isolated forests for the Elephants to move about and breed,” said Dr Ancrenaz.

He said the accidental deaths of the Elephants in the mud pool might not have happened if those who dug it closed it up after carrying out their activities in the area.

“It is an irresponsible act,” he said, adding that the area was likely to be the natural roaming ground for the Elephants in the forested areas of Kalabakan before logging took place.

Source: The Star

Malaysia: Conflict with humans more of a threat for jumbos

Malaysia: Questions raised over conservation efforts
15th September 2016;

The deaths of seven Pygmy Elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) in a quarry pond, coming in the wake of the poisoning of 14 adult Elephants three years ago, have again raised questions over the conservation of the sub-species.

The Elephants are considered endangered and only about 1,500 are to be found in the wild – almost all in Sabah.

Although the Sabah Wildlife Department has ruled out foul play in the latest case, these gentle giants of Sabah remain under threat in shrinking forest areas in view of the severe human-Elephant conflicts.

Fears are real that they may face the same fate as the Bornean Rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatraensis harrissonii), where only three are left in captivity and none seen in the wild in the last five years.

“It is really a sad day for conservation to see seven helplessly die in a (disused quarry) mud pool where they enjoy wallowing,” said Elephant conservationist Danau Girang Field Centre director Dr Benoit Goossens.

“I just can’t imagine how they suffered before they died, They must have been struggling to get out of the pool,” he said.

Furthermore, it was a huge setback to see calves dying in the tragedy, he added.

“Elephants are slow breeders. It takes time for their population to increase,” he said, adding that the jumbos were constantly facing threats to their habitat amid growing conflict with development.

This week’s discovery of the dead Elephants is the second largest of such deaths in Sabah.

In January 2013, 14 adult Elephants were found dead in a widely suspected case of poisoning in Gunung Rara Forest Reserve area in Tawau. One calf tugging to its mother survived.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun described the heartbreaking news as a big dent to efforts towards conservation.

“It is a very sad day for Sabah. We are constantly pushing conservation efforts in Sabah and this incident wiped out a whole herd of our Elephants,” Masidi said.

He said this was a lesson for all to learn and that everyone had a duty to assist in conservation and not leave it solely to the rangers of the department.

He also questioned why the disused quarry pond was still there, saying that the people around it or those operating in the area could have identified the threat not only to animals but also human beings.

He said plantations and other companies operating close to wildlife-rich areas should play a role in identifying dangers to the wildlife and take remedial action to prevent untoward incidents.

“People must act consciously. Conservation should be part of our lives. It should be an automatic action to conserve our wildlife and not just leave it to our rangers,” he said.

“The Elephants belong to all of us.”

Source: The Star

Indonesia: Javan Leopards reportedly poisoned in West Java

By Aditya Rohman & Ratri M. Siniwi, 4th August 2016;

After preying on cattle belonging to residents in Cipangparang village in the Sukabumi district, West Java, two Javan Leopards (Panthera pardus melas) have reportedly been killed by poisoning.

Kusmara, head of the Bogor Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), said the two Leopards roamed the conservation area before making their way into the settlement.

“The death of the two endangered species is still being investigated by the West Java Natural Resources Conservation Agency and we suspect that the Leopards have been poisoned by the residents after seeing many of their cattle were being preyed by the wild animals,” Kusmara told state-run news agency Antara on Wednesday (03/08).

The officials are still searching for the remains of the Leopards and have coordinated with the community after they were notified of the deaths.

BKSDA has encouraged residents to report the incidents, rather than kill the endangered animals.

“The Javan Leopard is one of the protected wildlife species, under the Law of the Conservation of Natural Resources,” Kuswara said.

The Javan Leopard is found in a number of conservation areas, including in Mount Gede Pangrango National Park, Mount Halimun Salak National Park and in the Cikepuh Wildlife conservation area in West Java.

Source: Jakarta Globe

Indonesia: Javan Leopards reportedly poisoned in West Java

A 45-year-old fish breeder suffered RM15,000 losses when his pond of Tilapia fishes was poisoned

Malaysia: Fish breeder suffers RM15,000 losses after pond is poisoned
By Sylvia Looi, 30th March 2016;

A 45-year-old fish breeder suffered losses of RM15,000 when his pond full of Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) fish was poisoned.

District police chief Assistant Commissioner Harith Kam Abdullah said a water sample and the dead fish had been sent to the Chemist Department for tests.

“The operator, whose pond is located at Taman Simpang Bersatu at Aulong here, had lodged a report on the matter on Monday,” he said here today.

The case is being investigated under Section 428 of the Penal Code for mischief against animals, added Kam.

“We have identified several suspects and will be picking them up soon to assist in investigations,” he said.

Those with information on the matter are urged to contact the nearest police station.

Source: New Straits Times