Rapid quantitative assessment of tigers in southern Sumatra 2006 – 07

This ZSL/ WCS project aimed to develop a rapid assessment methodology for Sumatran tiger and to employ the method in four southern Sumatran provinces; as a status and threat assessment, as a capacity building exercise and as a vehicle to promote tiger awareness. 

The method will be developed in collaboration with the Indonesian Department of Forestry and all major tiger stakeholders in Indonesia. 

Once developed the method will be employed in a rapid status assessment of tigers in the southern Sumatran provinces of Lampung, Bengkulu, South Sumatra and Jambi.

The Indonesian island of Sumatra is home to some of the world’s most endangered large mammals including the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran rhinoceros, Asian elephant and many other threatened or little-known species such as the Asian tapir, Southern serow, sun bear, Asian golden cat, dhole and clouded leopard. 

 In addition, there are more numerous but no less important prey species of the large cats such as red muntjac, sambar, chevrotain and wild pig species. Almost all of these forest species are threatened by habitat loss and unsustainable hunting: between 1985 and 1997 it is estimated that 6.7 million hectares of Sumatra’s forest cover was lost (around 29%) and shows little signs of having abated..

In the case of tiger hunting, between 1998 and 2002 there were an estimated 253 tigers killed in Sumatra, 109 in the four provinces of southern Sumatra alone.  While some killing is inadvertent through the use of non-selective snares, tigers and elephants are also targeted for body parts or as a result of conflict over crops and livestock.