Carrying capacity estimation of Sumatran elephant habitat (Elephas maximus sumatranus T) in Tesso Nilo National Park
Forest encroachment reduces elephant habitat area while oil palm plantations and industrial plantations reduce and even cut the elephant roaming area. This study aims to estimate the carrying capacity of elephant habitat in Tesso Nilo National Park, Indonesia. Data collection on elephant populations uses direct and indirect surveys. Direct surveys are carried out by direct encounter with the elephants and counting is done at the meeting. The indirect survey was carried out in two ways, namely by counting dung and traces of elephants as well as interviews with mahout and the community. Dung calculation is done by the path method that is on the elephant roaming track. Interviews of mahout and community were conducted to find out the number of elephants passing through residential areas. Based on the results of the study, the capacity of 1 ha of Sumatran elephant feed support was 0.05 Elephants/day for the secondary forest with proper use (P) of 60% with a growth cycle of 60 days. In the area of 1,590.18 ha, the carrying capacity of secondary forest feed can accommodate 83.93 Elephants /day or 84 Elephants/day. One elephant in the secondary forest can be fulfilled their needs with an area of 18.95 ha or means that 1 ha of secondary forest is only able to provide 0.05 Elephants/ day. In shrubs, habitat shows that 1 ha of the shrubs can support 0.21 Elephants /day or with an area of 2,132.90 ha capable of supporting elephants as much as 447.91 Elephants/day or 448 Elephants/day. One elephant can be fulfilled with an area of 4.76 ha of bush per day. This shows that the availability of feed in 1 ha of Tesso Nilo National Park area is insufficient for 1 elephant.
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