Rapid Expansion of Oil Palm Is Leading to Human-Elephant Conflicts in North Kalimantan Province of Indonesia

R. B. Suba, J. van der Ploeg, M. van't Zelfde, Y. W. Lau, T. F. Wissingh, W. Kustiawan, G. R. de Snoo, H. H. de Iongh

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Crop raiding by Bornean elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) is increasing rapidly in North Kalimantan, mainly due to a rapid conversion of swiddens and secondary forest into oil palm plantations. In the Tulin Onsoi subdistrict, the area used by oil palm plantations has grown from 3,302.71 ha in 2001 to 21,124.93 ha in 2014. Particularly from 2006 to 2010, the area covered by oil palm plantations increased rapidly (418%). Preventing further encroachment of oil palm plantations in elephant habitat and regulating land use change are keys to stop further population declines and make way for the reestablishment of a viable elephant population in Kalimantan. Crop raiding is a strong determinant of the local people's perceptions of elephants and risks eroding cultural values that enabled people to coexist with elephants. People's perception and attitude toward elephants are generally negative. Nevertheless, negative attitudes have not led to cases of retaliation in the Tulin Onsoi subdistrict. Public education at the community level could strengthen cultural values and foster coexistence between humans and elephants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalTropical Conservation Science
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bornean elephant North Kalimantan oil palm human-elephant conflict crop raiding human-elephant coexistence kambas-national-park asian elephants east kalimantan sri-lanka conservation sumatra patterns maximus forest perceptions Biodiversity & Conservation


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