High Tiger-Human Conflict
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Bengkulu – Due to high levels of illegal activities in protected forest areas, the frequency of human-tiger conflict in Bengkulu province has reached a high rate. This conflict has even caused one human fatality.
Within the last 9 months, 10 human-tiger conflicts have been reported.
According to Head of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of Bengkulu, Amon Zamora, conflict incidents are found in six districts: Mukomuko, Seluma, North Bengkulu, Lebong, Rejang Lebong, and Kaur.
“The home-range of tigers are becoming more and more encroached by human activities in protected forest areas, production forests, and limited production forests regulated under the authority of the local government,” said Anom on Wednesday (14/9/2011).
The first case of tiger conflict in 2011 occurred in Air Periukan subdistrict, Seluma district, last February. The tiger killed 22 goats and attacked a human. It was finally captured and relocated to Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation (TWNC) in Lampung.
The latest cases occurred in Lubuk Sandi subdistrict in Seluma district, and Padang Bano subdistrict in Lebong district in early September. A citizen of Padang Bano was attacked by a tiger and a citizen of Air Nipis, South Bengkulu district, was also attacked by a tiger in his coffee plantation in Seluma.
Currently the BKSDA has prepared a trap baited with goat in Padang Bano to capture the tiger. “A total of 7 people, 4 forest rangers and 3 collaborators, are placed in Padang Bano,” said Amon.
Meanwhile, setting up a cage trap in Seluma is inappropriate because the incident occurred far within the protected forest area, around an eight hour walk into the forest.
Even so, Amon said, people living around the forest are advised to maintain vigilance because some of the tigers known to attacked human tend to repeat the action.
Not only tigers, said Amon, human encroachment also threaten the existence of another animal, elephants. Between January and May 2011, 7 elephants have been found dead.
Amon said conflict between human and tigers never happen in forests that are free from human intrusion, for example Seblat Elephant Training Center (PLG) in North Bengkulu. Three tigers known to inhabit the area never approached human settlements and caused any concern.
Seblat PLG coordinator, Supartono, said the center, which owns an area of 6,865 hectares, is also not free from pressure. Currently the forest corridor in HPT Lebong Kandis, which connects Seblat PLG with Kerinci Seblat National Park, is being exploited by 500 families. They are now even planting oil palms in the area.
The problem is, that corridor is commonly used by elephants traveling back and forth between Seblat PLG and the national park.
Therefore Bengkulu BKSDA plans to propose an animal rescue program to the central government to better protect the animals in the area. (Adhitya Ramadhan|Agus Mulyadi)
Source : Kompas