Oral Presentation- Symposium 12th International Mammalogical Congress

The evaluation on impact of land-use change on human-elephant conflicts in Lahad-datu since 1990’s, Sabah, Malaysia (#456)

Yasuyuki Tachiki 1 , Augustine Tuuga 2 , Titol P Malim 2 , Nobuyuki Tsuji 1 , Lauretta A Laneng 1 , Tomomi Kudo 3 , Rika Akamatsu 3
  1. Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
  2. Sabah Wildlife Department, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
  3. EnVision Conservation Office, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is one of the most important key species for biodiversity conservation in Borneo. After logging and land-use changes on areas of natural forest during the last half century, their habitat was fragmented and degraded. As a result, human-elephant conflicts are increasing recently. People are seeking solutions and mitigation for issues, but only few basic data such as issue/damage visualised maps exist. It is necessary to build an effective strategy based on objective facts for co-existing with elephants. In this research, we evaluated the impact of land-use change on issues, using emergency handling records taken by Sabah Wildlife Department at Lahad-Datu area during 1989 to 2000. From a total of 335 records, we picked up 237 records with location information. We estimated land-use change by Landsat satellite images. We found there are four hotspots (H-1 to H-4). H-3, located near Lahad datu town, has the highest conflict frequency during this decade (31 times). Even recently the issues are still continuing. Second highest was H-2, located at 15 km west of Tabin forest reserve (FR) border. This area had big issues until 1995 but it has stopped, because the all forest was logged around this area then. In conclusion, distance from FR border had a strong impact on the frequency of issues. Since H-1 and H-3 were located between FRs, conflicts still continue today. However, H-2 and H-4 were already isolated from core habitats. We believed this result can be used for recent human-elephant countermeasures.