Patterns and perceptions of wildlife crop raiding in and around Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra


Matthew Linkie, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NS, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1227 823455; Fax: +44 (0) 1227 827289


Crop raiding can reduce farmers' tolerance towards wildlife. Despite higher human population densities in rural areas, and more rapid conversion of forest to farmland, much less is known about crop raiding in Asia than in Africa. Over 14 months, we identified perceived and actual crop pests, and their patterns of crop raiding from farmland in and around Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra. Farmers named either the wild boar Sus scrofa (80%) or the pig-tailed macaque Macaca nemestrina (20%) as the two most destructive crop pests. From 5125 crop raids by 11 species of mammal, most raids were indeed made by the wild boar (56%) and the pig-tailed macaque (19%). For all species combined, temporal crop raiding peaks were positively correlated with periods of high rainfall. Spatially, most crop raids occurred nearest to the forest edge and the local guarding strategies used were ineffective. However, raids by wild boars were more extensive than raids by pig-tailed macaques, which caused much greater crop damage (73%) than wild boars (26%), contrary to farmers' perceptions. Our research suggests that alternative mitigation strategies need to be trialed over dry and rainy seasons to identify the most effective strategies and that guarding effort should be increased during the rainy seasons and tailored towards specific crop raiding species based on their unique spatial patterns.