Projects receiving grants from WildCats are expected to produce two reports over the year. The interim report shows whether progress is being made against the objectives laid out in the proposal of work. The success of a project can then be monitored and measured by our independent assessors.
The units conducted 62 forest patrols, each lasting 5-7 days, walking the difficult terrain through mountains and valleys, in the park and its buffer zone. This is the latest from the FFI coordinator of the Kerinci Seblat Tiger Protection and Conservation project in Sumatra. It shows just how much the Kerinci TPCUs have achieved in the first six months of the year.
Importantly over these patrols, the teams recorded only eight active tiger snares compared to 32 for the same period in 2016 while still encountering evidence of 53 tigers.
Join us in congratulating these teams and their colleagues in the local police departments for this amazing persistence.
While the direct threat to tiger and tiger prey species declined over the project period, these factors help us keep the need for continued funding in perspective.
- The Kerinci Seblat National Park covers more than 1.38 million hectares. The six TPCUs are able to patrol across 400,000 hectares, leaving a large proportion of the Park unpatrolled. We know that over the past few months four tigers have lost their lives to poachers.
- The units have recorded serious threat to tiger habitat, even in the core area, from illegal forest conversion by smallholders. This occurred for coffee in highland areas of the park and, in the west and south-west of the national park, for palm oil.
Sadly, government cuts have resulted in a moratorium on civil service recruitment. There are now fewer than 60 rangers, more than half approaching retirement age, assigned to a national park covering more than 5300 square miles. A recent reorganisation of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry has left the national parks in Indonesia with no routine budget with which to conduct law enforcement responses to forest crime. This results in many of these instances of encroachment going unchallenged.
You can read more about this project here.