Borneo`s pygmy elephants under threat - Tourism Indonesia


Monday, August 13, 2007

Borneo`s pygmy elephants under threat

Satellite data suggest endangered pygmy elephants that live only on the island of Borneo are under threat from forest fragmentation and habitat loss.

A World Wildlife Fund study notes the pygmy elephants, which depend on forests situated on flat, low lands and in river valleys, are losing their forest cover to commercial plantations. During the past four decades, 40 percent of the forest cover of the Malaysian State of Sabah, in northeastern Borneo where most pygmy elephants live, has been lost to logging, conversion to plantations and human settlement.

'The areas that these elephants need to survive are the same forests where the most intensive logging in Sabah has taken place, because flat lands and valleys incur the lowest costs when extracting timber,' said Raymond Alfred, head of the New York-based fund`s Borneo Species Program. 'However, the Malaysian government`s commitment to retain extensive forest habitat throughout central Sabah ... should ensure the majority of the herds have a home in the long term.'

The study, the largest using satellite tracking of Asian elephants, is available at

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