We are celebrating the dedication of the FFI/Kerinci Seblat Tiger Protection & Conservation Unit (TPCU) team, and sharing members of the TPCU reflections on COVID 19 around Kerinci Seblat and its impacts. Here is Muslim … in his own words
Muslim joined the team in 2002, initially as a driver but, subsequently, from 2003, as a TPCU ranger and now leads one of three Jambi-based TPCUs. He lives in a small village in Sarolangun district to the east of the national park.
‘This Corona plague is dangerous to people, yes, but will it stop or slow down poaching of wildlife – I don’t think so. Hunting wildlife is a hobby for some but it is also part of the economy for some people in remote forest-edge communities like in Jangkat and in some parts of Kerinci and hunting, especially deer and pheasant is a traditional activity in some areas, especially during Ramadan.
I don’t think the Corona virus is going to stop poaching and it probably won’t stop illegal logging either. Here in Sarolangun, the market and the district capital are quiet, a lot of people are staying home, a lot of shops have been shut and the community’s economy is being affected. It’s different in the villages, people are carrying on “as usual” and that includes ‘going to the forest’.”