Copenhagen Zoo Donates 15 camera traps to Hutan Harapan

The ESP3 programme has been very pleased to establish contact between the Hutan Harapan management team and Copenhagen ZOO in Denmark. The contact resulted in a donation of 15 camera traps to the Hutan Harapan research and monitoring department. Thereby the department is now able to continue its very important monitoring of wildlife. The camera traps will help monitor wildlife such as tiger, tapir and elephant. The donation is highly appreciated as the cameras make it possible to follow the effect of different forest management measures on the wildlife populations.

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Copenhagen Zoological Garden represented by Carl Traeholt (middle) is donating 15 camera traps to Director of Operations in Hutan Harapan, Ir. Lisman Sumardjani (right). Lisman said, that he was very happy about the donation and hope Hutan Harapan will be able to continue the cooperation with Copenhagen ZOO. He promised to share the best pictures with the ZOO in the future. Lars Moller, adviser in the ESP3 programme to the left.

The wildlife monitoring program in Hutan Harapan has suffered from heavy loss of camera traps. 30 camera traps in 2014 were reduced to only 10 two years later. The remaining cameras were not enough to provide reliable and comparable data, and the wildlife monitoring program came to a halt. The reduction of cameras, has mostly been caused by people roaming around in the forest. Some steal or destroy the cameras, afraid to have their picture taken while carrying out illegal activities. Occasionally a camera is also reported chewed by a tiger, or an elephant has used the camera as a scratcher.

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Elva Germita is in charge of the wildlife monitoring in Hutan Harapan. She is recently back from UK where she completed her MSc in wildlife monitoring with the support of ESP3, and have dedicated the next years to the wildlife conservation in Hutan Harapan. She is very happy that her wildlife monitoring can now be taken up again, after the donation from Copenhagen ZOO.

Elva Gemita is part of the Hutan Harapan team and is in charge of the wildlife monitoring. She has worked in the forest since 2010 and only saw the job as a temporary thing, - that was until she saw the first footprints after tiger! Then she were sold, and decided to dedicate a large part of her life to wild life conservation. With the support of the ESP3 programme she later took a MSc in Conservation Project Management at Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE)-University of Kent. She took her course to be able to efficiently manage wildlife monitoring in Hutan Harapan, based on the data gathered in the field, mainly from camera traps. Using camera traps is the best way to monitor wildlife in Harapan, she says. In 2015, 29 different Sumatran tigers were identified. From the pictures, she can identify each individual from the pattern on their body. Occasionally, also human trespassers are trapped on the camera. If necessary they can later be identified and questioned, if it appears they have done something illegal. The pictures can also be used for wildlife education, awareness raising and promote Hutan Harapan as an important habitat for rare wildlife seeking refuge in one of the last “islands” of Sumatran lowland rainforest.

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This wonderful Sumatran Tiger tricked a camera trap one hot afternoon in Hutan Harapan.

Copenhagen Zoo is active in Indonesia where it works with and support biodiversity and wildlife research at the University of Andalas, Padang. Copenhagen Zoo's Southeast Asia Programme works with the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Division of PHKA, in restoring the unique ecology of Baluran National Park (East Java). Zoo has also engaged in the palm oil sector in landscape based conservation initiative, and has since forged many positive working relationships with stakeholders in the sector. Copenhagen Zoo also continues to support the further development of the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil and other stakeholders in pursuit of the same goals. Zoo also provides support to local University students with small research grants, if they are keen to further their studies at home or abroad.

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