Subspecies of Asian elephants in Malaysia
|Borneo elephants. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.|
Various threats to elephants
Malaysia produces 39 percent of world palm oil production, according to the Malaysian Palm OilCouncil.
“The main challenge is of course to keep the available forest from being converted to oil palm or other development activities,” said Nurzhafarina Othman in an email. Othman is one of the leading experts on Bornean pygmy elephants based in Sabah, Malaysia.
Othman said the biggest threats to the subspecies are forest reduction and conflicts between humans and the elephants. However, interactions between humans and the elephants that measure just over 8 feet tall can show a different benefit of the species.
|Tourists help bathe two Asian elephants at the Kuala Gandah |
Elephant Conservation Center. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Plans for protecting the elephant's habitats
Malaysian elephants, in general, are protected under the Wildlife Act and are listed in the Appendix I of CITES treaty about wildlife trade.
“We need people to understand that conservation of these species involves living with some amount of conflict,” he said. “We need to find mechanisms to reduce the burden of conservation on people living next to these species, so they can increase their tolerance to them.”