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Shift of paradigm needed towards improving human-elephant coexistence in monoculture landscapes in Sabah

Othman, N., Goossens, B., Cheah, C. P. I., Nathan, S., Bumpus, R. and Ancrenaz, M. 2019. Shift of paradigm needed towards improving human-elephant coexistence in monoculture landscapes in Sabah. International Zoo Yearbook 10.1111/izy.12226
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Abstract

This article outlines the contemporary situation of the Bornean elephant Elephas maximus borneensis in Sabah (Malaysian Borneo), and focuses on the existing challenges that need to be addressed to enable people and elephants to coexist, particularly in man‐made landscapes dominated by oil‐palm plantations. Bornean elephants are confined mostly to Sabah, to the north‐east 5% of the Borneo Island. Sabah started to expand its commercial plantation sector in the early 1980s and is the largest producer of palm oil in Malaysia, contributing c. 10% of global output for this commodity. The rapid pace of plantation expansion has resulted in the loss of the majority of lowland areas that are also needed by large mammal species to sustain breeding populations. Elephants are extreme lowland/floodplain specialists, and they still attempt to use their former and preferred habitat, which is now mostly dominated by oil‐palm plantations. At the time of writing, the land‐use planning system favoured by the government insufficiently incorporates the ecological and management needs for elephants across the entire landscape. This article also highlights the need for better collaboration and coordination between stakeholders to address the increasing rate of human–elephant conflicts in Sabah.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: In Press
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0074-9664
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 June 2019
Date of Acceptance: 9 May 2019
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2019 14:18
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/123234

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