A Col­lec­tion of News by Moos


Suma­tran tigers on path to recov­ery in an ‘In Dan­ger’ UNESCO world her­itage site

pub­lished 27 Octo­ber 2017 | mod­i­fied 27 Octo­ber 2017

Sumatran tiger camera trap imageA new sci­en­tific pub­li­ca­tion from Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Soci­ety (WCS) and the Bukit Barisan Sela­tan National Park Author­ity looks at the effec­tive­ness of the park’s pro­tec­tion zone and finds that the den­sity of Suma­tran tigers has increased despite the con­tin­ued threat of liv­ing in an ‘In Dan­ger’ World Her­itage Site.

Liv­ing only on the Indone­sian island of Suma­tra, the Crit­i­cally Endan­gered Suma­tran tiger (Pan­thera tigris suma­trae) is the only extant sub-​species of ’Island tigers’, which includes the now-​extinct Javan and Bali tiger. This sub-​species is genet­i­cally dis­tinct from the other five sub-​species of con­ti­nen­tal tigers that remain in the wild.

Suma­tran tigers face many chal­lenges to their con­tin­ued exis­tence in the wild, where they require a home range of 25,000 hectares. These threats include being poached for their skin, bones and other body parts, involve­ment in con­flict with peo­ple, a depleted prey base, and habi­tat loss.

The study, pub­lished on 23 Octo­ber in the sci­en­tific jour­nal Oryx, set 123 Pan­ther­a­Cam cam­era traps over a 1,000 km2 for­est block located in a pro­tec­tion zone spe­cially des­ig­nated by the Bukit Barisan Sela­tan National Park Author­ity to improve park pro­tec­tion and aid in the recov­ery of flag­ship species.

This increas­ing pop­u­la­tion trend in Suma­tran tigers is a dream come true for all con­ser­va­tion­ists in Indonesia.

Dr Noviar Andayani, co-​author, WCS-​Indonesia Coun­try Director

Results of the camera-​trap study showed a Suma­tran tiger pop­u­la­tion den­sity increase to 2.8 tigers/​100 km2 (2015) from 1.6 tigers/​100 km2 (2002). Fur­ther­more, the pro­por­tion of male and female tigers recently recorded was 1: 3. “This ratio indi­cates that the tiger pop­u­la­tion in the National Park is in a healthy con­di­tion and breed­ing oppor­tu­nity exists for many females within the areas we sur­veyed,” said lead author, Wulan Pus­parini, WCS Species Con­ser­va­tion Spe­cial­ist. “Our study not only looks at pop­u­la­tion con­di­tion, but also used the pho­tographs to assess the threat of peo­ple ille­gally enter­ing the park.”

Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park mapBukit Barisan Sela­tan National Park map.
Image credit UNESCO World Her­itage List.

Tim­bul Batubara, one of the co-​authors and the for­mer head of the Bukit Barisan National Park stated, “The tiger pop­u­la­tion increase can’t be sep­a­rated from our efforts to main­tain this area through ranger patrols. With sup­port from WCS and other part­ners, we con­ducted patrols in and around the park to remove tiger and prey snare traps and pre­vent habi­tat encroachment.”

WCS-​Indonesia Coun­try Direc­tor Dr Noviar Andayani added, “This increas­ing pop­u­la­tion trend in Suma­tran tigers is a dream come true for all con­ser­va­tion­ists in Indone­sia. I appre­ci­ate the work of the park author­ity and our field team for their efforts in not only pro­tect­ing tigers and their habi­tat, but also col­lect­ing robust research data to demon­strate this trend and ensure that in the com­ing years, the UNESCO Trop­i­cal Her­itage of Suma­tra can be removed from the ‘in dan­ger list’.”

(Source: WCS news release, 23.10.2017)

UN Biodiversity decade

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
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