Many forest edge communities we support experience conflict with Critically Endangered Sumatran elephants. Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) have lost over 70% of their habitat and half their population in one generation, forcing them into smaller fragments of forest and into conflict and competition with humans. Elephants in Southeast Asia frequently crop-raid and are often poisoned or shot in retaliation. We work with the International Elephant Project's team of elephant conflict specialists, to assess our most affected communities and provide long term recommendations for the mitigation and ultimately prevention of further human-elephant conflict, keeping both elephants and people safe. Our rangers frequently support land owners by safely driving elephants back into the forest from community land. They also provide non-lethal deterrents to discourage elephants coming into the community, helping to avoid damage to crops and dwellings. More recently, the team have been involved in data collection to assist the Sumatran Elephant Project with a population census of elephants in North Sumatra. Very little is known about this species here and Sumatran Ranger Project regularly monitors a relic herd that we are happy to report is breeding.
SRP regularly responds to requests for assistance from forest edge communities to move elephants away from their gardens. SRP recently cleared a 20km elephant monitoring trail to enable safe and efficient access to several areas where elephants frequent. The team use drones, motorbikes and foot patrols to detect elephants and move them safely away from communities.