In excellent news, Anna and her family have moved northwards with Cinta and Ginting’s herds, into the direction of the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park. The herds were trapped for many months between village fields and a rubber plantation and intense conflicts were the consequence. Only after the rubber company stopped for a few days to unblock the old elephant routes along the rivers could the elephants pass through – which they immediately did.
Thus, with the exception of four bulls, all five elephant herds in the Bukit Tigapuluh landscape (about 150 elephants) are now located in dedicated conservation areas. However, it is still imperative that they be monitored closely because even within areas that have been set aside for conservation, numerous illegal farmers have established fields and small plantations, and the risk of elephants being killed or injured by either poachers or illegal farmers remains high. The Elephant Conservation and Monitoring Units are therefore on location 24/7, following the movements of the herds in order to reduce this risk as much as possible. In addition, we are trying to push concession owners that are responsible for the protection of key elephant habitat to improve habitat protection and to find solutions for encroachment.
The batteries on Anna’s collar ran out in late 2017. Two attempts to exchange her collar failed for various reasons. Field teamscontinue to monitor Anna using direct tracking and observation. This is relatively easy at the moment since she is still mostly traveling with Ginting who just received a new collar. Anna is part of a herd of about 30 elephants and shares much of her time and home range with Ginting. There are several babies and juveniles of all ages in the herd indicating healthy natural population growth. The map shows the location of Ginting’s herd from April-September 2018. Anna mostly travels with Ginting’s herd so she can be monitored via Ginting’s GPS collar.