A new report from the Tiger Protection and Conservation Units in Sumatra details falling levels of tiger snares in the core area of Kerinci Seblat National Park for the second year running. Arrests and prosecutions made in 2016 and 2017 have had an impact and further arrests in 2018.
139 active deer snares were destroyed in Kerinci,70% of which were discovered during the six weeks in the run-up to Ramadan and the festival of Eid, with one of the team finding 77 of them on one single patrol.
However, while poaching pressure on tigers reduced, patrols continued to record serious threat to tiger habitat in a number of areas around the national park. These have included gold miners using heavy machinery and illegal encroachment and forest clearance. At one stage the illegal gold miners took a senior official of Sungaipenuh municipal government hostage and blockaded the district highway to get their men released. The dispute is now in the hands of the national agencies and the extraction continues unabated.
2018 has seen an increased number of human-tiger conflict in this area. Nine incidents took place in the first half of the year with two of them being serious attacks on villagers.
Conflict mitigation is increasingly a feature of tiger conservation across all countries and here in Sumatra it is being taken seriously. The Governors of West Sumatra and Governor or Jambi have instigated multi-stakeholder human-tiger conflict mitigation taskforces which means that three of the four provinces adjoining Kerinci Seblat National Park are now formally committed to supporting collaborative actions by local and national government agencies and other stakeholders.