Hope for tigers lives in Sumatra

July 29, 2013 — In time for the third annual International Tiger Day, recent findings from a camera trap survey in Sumatra, Indonesia have uncovered a burgeoning tiger stronghold on an island that typically makes headlines for its rampant loss of forests and wildlife.Mr. Tomy Winata, an Indonesian businessman, conservationist and founder of Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation (TWNC, which is a 450km2 privately managed concession), has carried out critical tiger conservation initiatives in the region since 1996, and recently partnered with Panthera, a global big cat conservation organization, to implement this successful survey.The study’s preliminary camera trap data recently indicated an unexpected density of six tigers per 100km2 in the southern region of TWNC. This estimate is nearly double the highest recorded for the island to date. These findings, including camera trap images of tiger cubs like that above, have identified Tambling, which is part of the globally significant Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP), as a beacon of hope for the last remaining 400-500 wild Sumatran tigers.Panthera’s CEO and tiger scientist, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, stated, “The extraordinary tiger densities that have been discovered in Tambling are the tangible result of Mr. Tomy Winata’s program not just to provide tigers sanctuary, but to protect them. Simply put, the main threat to tigers across their range is from poaching. Poaching is not a disease we can’t see or a threat we can’t identify. It can be beaten if the will is there to do so. Armed with a zero tolerance policy towards poaching, Mr. …

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