Company protects endangered Borneo Pygmy Elephant

Posted on 08 May 2012  |  4 comments
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Research conducted by WWF-Indonesia from 2007 to 2011 has revealed the existence of an estimated 20-80 Borneo elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) in the northern part of East Kalimantan, bordering Sabah, Malaysia. However, forest encroachments for oil palm plantations are quickly decreasing the habitat and home range of this endangered elephant.

The loss of Borneo elephants’ habitat and home range has pushed the species into conflict with humans. WWF Indonesia’s data shows that from 2005 to 2007, approximately 16,000 oil palm trees owned by community and palm oil plantations were damaged by these elephants, also known as “Pygmy elephants”. Furthermore, monitoring results from 2005 to 2009 show that 11 villages in East Kalimantan were prone to human-elephant conflict.

To reduce the risk of this conflict, WWF-Indonesia, along with local forestry agencies and the government, has facilitated the establishment of an Elephant Conflict Mitigation Task Force. WWF is also working with communities, government, relevant NGOs, and companies or concession owners operating in the elephants’ habitat to develop and implement elephant conservation management plans.

Today, the main habitat of Borneo pygmy elephants are at the top of the rivers in the north of East Kalimantan, bordering Malaysia. Some are included in the consession area possessed by PT. Adimitra Lestari.

WWF-Indonesia, through the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) is facilitating PT. Adimitra Lestari, a GFTN applicant, to improve its management of natural forest.

“The private sectors’ participation in the management of protected wildlife habitat, especially in its concession area, is the key of success for Borneo elephants’ protection,” said Anwar Purwoto, Director of Forest, Freshwater and Terrestrial Species at WWF-Indonesia. “WWF Indonesia appreciates concessionaires such as PT. Adimitra Lestari for its commitment to actively get involved in protecting endangered species in their concession, as this showcases real implementation of green economy in which businesses operate without harming endangered species population.”

Forest management carried out by the company and WWF focuses on elephant population and its trajectory. Therefore, the operations would not be harmful to elephants’ habitat, home range and the trees which feed them. Logged forest areas can sustain Borneo elephants’ life, as long as these animals are provided with sufficient space to explore and search for foods. Logging operations in the forest may proceed harmoniously with elephant conservation when the activities are carried out in accordance to conservation ethics.

“We are passionate and committed to manage our natural forest concession responsibly. The Borneo elephant has inhabited the area long time before we even started our operation there, so their existence should be respected. Therefore we have adjusted our company management policy and practice based on this condition, to preserve the population,’ said Bambang Supriambodo, Managing Director of PT. Adimitra Lestari.

On 19-20 April 2011, GFTN, together with PT. Adimitra Lestari, organized a training on Borneo elephant conflict mitigation for their field staff with the goal that they 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 integrate elephant conservation action into their practical work.

For further information, please contact:
  1. Desmarita Murni, Communications Manager, WWF-Indonesia +62811793458
  2. Agus Suyitno, Human-Elephant Conflict Officer, WWF Indonesia, telp +62 821 57779933 email email
  3. Wiwin Effendy, Koordinator WWF-Indonesia di Kalimantan Timur, telp +62812 5859265
About WWF-Indonesia 
WWF-Indonesia is an independent part of WWF network and its affiliate, the world’s largest global conservation organizations that works in 100 countries. WWF-Indonesia’s ultimate goal is to stop and eventually reverse environmental degradation and to build a future where people live in harmony with nature.

About GFTN
The Global & Forest Trade Network (GFTN) is WWF’s initiative to eliminate illegal logging and encourage the improvement of forest management. GFTN helps facilitate trade links between companies committed to achieving and supporting responsible forestry. GFTN upholds an independent forest certification, based on multi-party engagement as an important tool in promoting forest management and trade in wood products. Through a membership scheme, GFTN-Indonesia currently has 37 member companies.
Bornean Pygmy elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) family, parents with calf. Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah, North Borneo, Malaysia.
Bornean Pygmy elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) family, parents with calf. Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah, North Borneo, Malaysia.
© WWF / A. Christy WILLIAMS
Data reveals there are probably not more than 1,000 Borneo pygmy elephants left in Sabah, Malaysia, less than the 1,600 or so previously estimated.
© WWF / A. Christy Williams


  • JohnKont

    Keep up the good work....

    Jul 10, 2009

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  • JovanS

    Ture Story !

  • This is true. Need to protect the diversity of animals on our planet. This is our duty.

  • Imam R

    We must support the Programmes that the WWF Indonesia Programme has been made togother with all paties and stakeholders hand-in hand to conserve the habitat what is so called The Endemic Pigmi Borneo elephant...

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