The Green Patrol team marches on tirelessly!
As we already informed you in the article dated 27.3. our Green Patrol team continues (not only) through the terrain despite historical organizational vicissitudes.
The boys do not lack enthusiasm and determination to continue working for nature and animals.
Let’s see what they were up to in April and May.
Due to past “tiger conflicts” in the area, the team focused on intervention and prevention in local communities in the buffer zone of the national park. Incidents where several cows were killed occurred around the villages of Bandar Baru, Bungara, Juma Lada, Sebelin, Bandaruli and Tangkahan. Our team enjoys the trust of residents, and as an organization with experience in this situation, they are called to help in conflicts to assist state conservation and national park officials.
In the first phase of the conflict, the angry and frightened inhabitants must be calmed down and their calls for revenge moderated. It needs to be explained to them that the tiger is at home in the area, and killing and poaching it is not an appropriate solution. Once this is done, the team places camera traps near the prey to identify individuals. The tiger stays close to the incident and returns to the uneaten prey in the evenings until it can drag the rest deeper into the forest, or it simply has had enough. You can watch some footage from the “tiger dinner” on our channels and social networks. From the monitoring o
In the next phase, the team assists in evening patrols and fire alarm events using lights and pyrotechnics. It is one of the preventive methods to push the tiger back into its natural habitat. On the following days, possible signs of tiger presence are monitored, but such an incident is not repeated usually.
For the tiger conflict in Bandaruli village, the team along with officials from NPGL and BKSDA office consulted on solutions and efforts to cage the tiger and translocate it to another area. We do not consider this to be the most appropriate and we were glad that it did not succeed, and the tiger withdrew from the populated area on its own.
Due to the frequency of events and the need for solutions, the team even had to split into two groups. One half helped monitor the situation and the other coordinated the purchase of wire and the start of fence construction. The construction of cattle enclosures made of wood and barbed wire, which ensures that a tiger does not break into the enclosure, has proven to be a critically important prevention of livestock losses. Green Patrol then assists residents with the construction during the planning and training phase. In total, we have managed to build 9 community enclosures with support through our organization (for approx. 10 million Indonesian rupiahs, which is approximately 15 thousand Czech crowns) and more are in the planning stage. At the end of May, we sent another 5 million Indonesian rupiah out of a total of 17 million rupiah still needed. The next stages will depend on the accumulated financial support and sponsorship contributions.
With the passage of time, our team then returned to the areas to map possible signs of the beasts’ presence and at the same time searched the areas for poachers’ traps set in the forest. Fortunately, both without any findings. This is good news and a sign that it is also important to properly educate the inhabitants of the villages in the buffer zone of the national park regarding the elimination of poaching and the need to preserve the balance between man and nature.
Watch out, there are elephants coming through!
Apart from the tiger interaction, the team also dealt with a visit to the village of Sapo Padang by an elephant family. They walked through several “gardens” and ate some of the crops and banana trees. Of course, this was not met with enthusiasm by the locals, but they can be glad for the fact that they only pass through and migrate here occasionally. In the future, we will come up with some gentle solutions to discourage the giants from similar visits. Inspiration from abroad advises keeping bees or growing chili peppers. We’ll see what can be done. But for now, it is certain that the elephants went to another part of the park through the Sekelam valley, where our team met them in person.
National Park Ranger Partners
Negotiations are still ongoing with representatives of the Gunung Leuser National Park administration regarding cooperation. So far, we have managed to arrange a pilot mode, where the Green Patrol team helps the rangers as a volunteer unit. In the future, we have an open door to monitoring with camera traps and patrols in the park with the participation of rangers. We will start the implementation of the cooperation as soon as we manage to obtain the necessary funding beyond the current basic operating budget. We expect to be able to start piloting from the fall of this year.
Visits from a greater or lesser distance
The team’s work and field knowledge bring visitors from near and far to Batu Katak. The closer one was more numerous, and they were students from the University of Simalungun. They came for an excursion and to get to know nature. The event was organized by officials from KPH, and they invited our team as lecturers and guides for the field part of the program. Students had the opportunity to learn more about field nature conservation practice both theoretically and practically on demonstration patrols. They left excited and with a promise to return.
The second visit came to enjoy the beauty of the Leuser ecosystem and to go out with Green Patrol to the field to find out more about their work. It was a Slovak couple interested in our activities. They spent the night in the forest with the patrol and learned a lot to get excited and promise help. We are looking forward to another cooperation. Similar pilot visits help finance monitoring, but also contribute to the local economy. We intend to continue in the regime of educational and motivational ecotourism treks within the framework of volunteer programs.
Good work brings good results.
All in all, a lot of good work has been done in the past two months. We are rewarded with wonderful shots of not only tigers, elephants, and orangutans. You can see the clips below.
Patrols in the buffer zone show that animals, not poachers, roam the area. Animal tracks do not cross human tracks anywhere, nor did the cameras reveal the presence of anyone suspicious. The area seems to be free of traps and pitfalls for now. Let’s hope this is indeed the case and we will continue to monitor it.
In order for our team to have slightly better conditions, we freed up part of the funds for the purchase of new uniforms for the field. Slowly but surely, together we are again building a quality and professional team. You can help us on this journey to become more efficient and professional even faster. In the future, we want to ensure quality technical and field equipment. But everything will depend on every single person who joins our mission. Either personally in the next year or financially right now.
Thank you to everyone who makes it possible to continue to protect the precious nature of Sumatra!
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Account of GREEN PATROL