Today’s guest blog responds to one of your burning questions… what do tigers eat? Diet for a tiger can vary significantly depending on what is available, find out what would be on the menu for a wild tiger in Southern Sumatra, in this lovely blog from our colleague Sophie Kirklin at ZSL:
On the Menu for Tigers in Sumatra
Tigers are elusive cats. But just because we don’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not out there! It might be hard to see tigers themselves, so it’s often easier to look for other signs of them. Like what’s on the menu in an area!
In South Sumatra, our ZSL team put out 108 camera traps, to search for tigers and to see if tiger prey had returned to the area after much of it had been hunted out. The remote cameras can take photos without a button being pushed, and so they can often capture images that a human with a camera could not.
The camera didn’t pick up any pictures of tigers but did see 26 different species of animal. 15 of these were mammals, many of which are a delicious meal for a tiger.
This is important information because it tells us that tigers could survive in this forest, and they would definitely be well fed!
The new menu on offer in the Dangku Wildlife reserve would be irresistible to Sumatran tigers, whose diet includes a range of deer and wild pigs. This is great news, as ZSL have been working to reduce hunting and make this habitat perfect for tigers – now they just need to able to travel there! Unfortunately, in South Sumatra, areas where tigers would once have moved freely, searching for mates and food, are now uninhabitable degraded lands, or have been converted to land used for agriculture.
This is where ZSL’s project, KELOLA Sendang comes in, working to restore the land and create corridors of suitable habitat that tigers can use to travel between different forests. Now that we know the Dangku Reserve is suitable for tigers, there is a greater chance that future camera trap surveys will catch tigers migrating here from neighbouring populations that ZSL already protects, in Berbak Sembilang National Park.
WildCats Conservation Alliance