Indonesian rangers dismantle traps to save wildlife

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LEUSER, Indonesia (AFP) – In the depths of Indonesia’s dense Leuser rain forest, a group of rangers are searching for traps set by poachers which are endangering rare wildlife.

Scientists and conservationists consider the Leuser Ecosystem, which falls mostly within Aceh province on Sumatra island, to be among the most important forests left in Southeast Asia.

It is the last place of sufficient size and quality to support viable populations of rare species like orangutans, Sumatran tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants, clouded leopards and sun bears.

In 2015 hundreds of traps were confiscated monthly in Leuser but now fewer than 10 are found every month, according to local conservation NGO Forum Conservation Leuser.

Indonesian forest ranger holding barbed wire that was removed from traps set up by poachers to capture bears and tigers in the Leuser ecosystem rainforest. – PHOTOS: AP

ABOVE & BELOW: Indonesian forest ranger collecting data of the Leuser ecosystem rainforest, located mostly within the province of Aceh on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra

ABOVE & BELOW: Indonesian forest ranger collecting data of the Leuser ecosystem rainforest, located mostly within the province of Aceh on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra

An Indonesian forest ranger admiring the sight of a waterfall in the Leuser ecosystem rainforest

An Indonesian forest ranger admiring the sight of a waterfall in the Leuser ecosystem rainforest

A team of Indonesian forest rangers making their way through the Leuser ecosystem rainforest

A team of Indonesian forest rangers making their way through the Leuser ecosystem rainforest

Indonesian forest rangers discovering traps set up by poachers to capture bears and tigers in the Leuser ecosystem rainforest, located mostly within the province of Aceh on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra

Indonesian forest rangers discovering traps set up by poachers to capture bears and tigers in the Leuser ecosystem rainforest, located mostly within the province of Aceh on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra

An orangutan and her baby making their way through the Leuser ecosystem rainforest

An orangutan and her baby making their way through the Leuser ecosystem rainforest

“The rangers are trained to track signs indicating that there were poachers in the area, such as by looking for cigarette ends or footsteps,” said Rudi Putra, head of the forum.

Some traps are designed to snare animals’ feet. Others consist of spears set high up in trees, which would fall when a trap is sprung.

The rangers also watch for signs of deforestation such as illegal logging, and collect data from the forest for further research.

The post Indonesian rangers dismantle traps to save wildlife appeared first on Borneo Bulletin Online.

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