Educating Farmers about Human-Primate Conflict Resolution

Land clearing in the slopes of Mt. Arjuno, East Java, has been triggering conflicts between human and primates. Farmlands in this area lie adjacent to natural forest, habitat of the Long-tailed Macaque and Javan Langur. When the crops are ready for harvest, often times the primates raid and plunder the farms.

Such situation leads primates to be considered pests by farmers. In some extreme cases, farmers kill the primates to 'protect' the crops, while in fact the area is a natural habitat from primates.

To subdue the conflict between farmers and primates, PROFAUNA's team intensify the education program for the farmers by visiting the farmlands and talk directly to farmers about the extent of their problem and feasible ways to manage the conflict.

PROFAUNA had fruitful discussions with the farmers to find the best method to drive away primates without killing, or even hurting, them. Several methods have been experimented, including by creating some kind of 'bazooka' rocket which produce a loud sound which scares the primates, and prevent them from coming back.

Another means is by providing food, for instance corns, for the primates. To our surprise, when given corns to be eaten, the primates would not disturb the crops. The farmers have to spend some money to purchase corns, but it better than losing their harvest.

"Farmers-primates conflict is unavoidable because these farms used to be the primates' natural habitat. We must find a win-win solution for this problem," said Rosek Nursahid, a biologist and primatologist who has been paying serious attention to this phenomenon.

Rosek, who is also an activist of PROFAUNA's, added "We are going to urge for a land-clearing moratorium in areas bordering natural forests, because it could elicit lots of troubles like landslides and human-animal conflicts."

© 2003 - ProFauna Indonesia

ProFauna Indonesia is an Indonesian society for the protection of
wild animals and their habitats