Field Report to the International Elephant Foundation – May 28 2013
Satellite Tracking of Bornean ‘Pygmy’ Elephants
Dr. Shermin de Silva, Director of the Uda Walawe Elephant Research Project (UWERP)
The Kinabatangan River Sanctuary is a narrow reserve that runs along both sides of the
Kinabatangan River in the North Eastern tip of Borneo. It is a very moist seasonal environment. It harbors primates such as orangutans and proboscis monkeys, several bird species such as hornbills, as well as a small population of Bornean elephants. This elephant population numbers less than 150 individuals and is threatened primarily by habitat loss due to oil palm cultivation. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that there are fewer than 1500 Bornean elephants in the wild. Earlier this year 14 individuals in another population were killed through poisoning, possibly connected to their movement onto oil palm plantations.
Collars are being placed on adult female Bornean elephants to determine their ranging behaviors.