By Shafia So far, we have interviewed 20 people. It’s interesting that there are different attitudes towards nature and wild animals. Often people do not like wild animals, as they destroy their crops, some farmers report that animals can reduce up to 70% of their profit. Depending on the crops they plant, some of them really hate pigs, who eat roots of plants, and the other really hate rats, monkeys or grasshoppers, who do different damage such as eating fruits, leaves etc. Planting season in the village is divided into two periods, the dry and the rainy season. Not all people want to plant in dry season. Lack of water is the main reason. The other reason is crop raiders’ highest activities happens in this period. In the rainy season, most of farmers will start working. January to February will be the most hectic month and since we are still here in January, we can’t wait to see it. Some villages have regulations to make sure every farmer gets equal profit: they have to plant and harvest together, so all crop raiders will affect the farmers equally. Farmer who do not obey this rule will be punished by paying fine. To protect crops from animals such as pigs, some people go hunting. Hunting in protected areas is prohibited and people who still insist on hunting will be punished by a fine. Outside the protected area animals can be hunted as long as the species is not protected by law. Bawean warty pigs for instance are not protected, so it is allowed to hunt them if they leave the protected forest. Most of farmers and authorities actually understand that using pesticide exaggeratedly will harm the environment in the longterm. Also it is difficult to kill all crop-raiders, and in the case of rare animals such as the warty pig, hunting may cause an extinction of populations. In the interviews it becomes clear that local people hope that researchers can help them finding a solution to the human-animal conflict, and to save nature yet not neglecting human’s need. This is a huge responsibility for people from outside - like us - but we will do our best to contribute to the discussion and offer some information from our research (such as activity periods of pigs) that can help to design more efficient methods of crop protection.
Photo: typical rural rice field next to the forest