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Forest Patrols and Law Enforcement

(An Elephant Response Unit patrolling the Way Kambas National Park for illegal activities. Photo: Roderick T.J. Buiskool).

During their patrols inside the WKNP, besides monitoring wild elephants, another duty of the ERU teams is to identify and prevent illegal activities such as illegal hunting, fishing, logging, cattle grazing, and forest fires, as well as record direct sightings and signs (e.g. foot prints, feeding, and scratch marks) of any wildlife.

During the past 2 years hundreds of snare traps, bird and fishnets have been detected and destroyed by the ERU teams. In some cases poachers have been arrested and perpetrators of other illegal activities, such as illegal grass cutting for livestock fodder inside the WKNP by local villagers, as well as livestock grazing of cows and domesticated water-buffalos are addressed. The ERU team leaders and Forestry Police also provide information and evidence to Police forces to enable arrests of poachers outside the WKNP and bring legal cases against them. All these actions have greatly improved the conservation situation of the areas of the WKNP which are regularly patrolled by the ERU teams.

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