Tesso Nilo National Park

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Sumatra National Parks

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The Tesso Nilo National Park (Tesso Nilo Hutan Nasional) is located in the Riau province of Sumatra close to Pekanbaru. The National Park has the highest lowland forest plant diversity known to science.

Tesso Nilo National Park was created in 2004 with 94,000 hectares of forested land. On 28th August 2008 the Indonesia government declared it will double the size of this National park to 213,000 hectares by December 2008.

This National Park contains Sumatra Tigers and Sumatra Elephants which are greatly endangered by the Palm Oil industry encroaching on the forested areas. It also has macaque monkeys, barking deer, cobra snakes and crocodiles. There is also an isolated tribe of people called the Orang Rimba who live within the park. The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) estimate that the Riau province has lost around 65% of it's forests over the last 25 years mainly for agriculture as well as for paper and lucrative Palm Oil plantations.

Currently there is no tourist infrastructure to support visitors to the National Park for accommodation or trekking.

The local villages around Tesso Nilo National Park are patrolled by the Tesso Nilo Elephant Flying Squad, a team of 4 trained elephants, along with their rangers, who patrol the area to stop the wild elephants (Gajah liar) from encroaching on these villages looking for food. They use noise and light making devices to try to scare the wild elephants away from the villages. If this doesn't work the 4 training elephants are put into formation to confront the wild elephants. For the last year there have been no deaths due to wild elephants, a common occurrence in past years..

The Tesso Nilo Elephant Flying Squad do random patrols on Tuesdays and Saturdays though they are on call 24 hours a day.

Funded by the WWF, it costs a minimum of IDR25 Million (US$2703) per month to fund their operations. To see how you can help the Tesso Nilo Elephant Flying Squad visit the World Wildlife Fund Indonesia's website at www.wwf.or.id

 

Last updated - 6th December 2008

 



 

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