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Impacts of Hulu Terengganu Hydroelectric Project on Elephant Movements and Home Range

  • D. MagintanEmail author
  • S. Salman
  • L. Tukimat
  • M. H. Shahril
  • M. S. Aisah
  • M. N. ShukorEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Water Resources Development and Management book series (WRDM)

Abstract

The impacts of the Hulu Terengganu Hydroelectric Project (Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia) on the home ranges and movements of elephants, before and after construction, were evaluated. Five elephants were captured, collared and released between 14 April, 2014 and 28 January, 2015. These elephants were given names Puah (female), Sireh (male), Sulaing (female), Ree (female) and Rong (male). The elephants were tracked, and their locations were analysed to provide an estimation of their home ranges and movement rates and patterns within the dam catchment area. The impacts of dam construction on these were evaluated based on the assessment of four phases of the project construction (Phase 1), early inundation (Phase 2), late inundation (Phase 3) and early operation (Phase 4). The home ranges of the elephants in each phase were estimated as being between 9.65 km2 and 60.62 km2, while the daily distances travelled (or movement rates) were 1.08 km/day to 2.09 km/day. We found that there were both direct and indirect impacts from the construction and inundation phases of the dam on the elephants’ home ranges and movement rates. Nevertheless, the elephants were able to adapt to the attendant changes, with no reports of displaced and conflicting elephants. The home range area and movement rate stabilised at the end of the inundation process. Hydroelectric construction in elephant habitats should consider leaving a large surrounding area untouched to allow them to maintain their populations.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) Director General, Deputy Director General, Director of Wildlife Conservation Division, Director of Terengganu state for their support. The research was also supported by TNB Research, in collaboration with UKM and DWNP.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Wildlife and National ParksKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.TNB Research Sdn. Bhd.KajangMalaysia
  3. 3.Faculty of Science and Technology, School of Environmental and Natural Resource SciencesUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia

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