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Sumatran Tiger Updates

Tiger adoption updates will be emailed to you every six months and uploaded to this page. The updates will give you on going information on events in the area and protection of your tiger and it's habitat.

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Approximately 30 Critically Endangered Sumatran tigers live in the BTP ecosystem. One of the major ways tiger population estimates are done is by identifying tigers in various locations through ‘camera traps’. 

Camera trapping was undertaken in November 2016 and some amazing images were captured.  Photographs of tigers were captured in six different locations as a result of a relatively small-scale survey using 29 camera trap stations over a three month period.

 WPU member installing a camera trap in the forest 

Here are two stunning photos from the recent survey. 

Photos of Sumatran tigers during the day and night at BTP

Unfortunately, many of the pictures were not clear enough to identify the individual tigers. Because of this, further camera traps were set to obtain video recordings in the hope of increasing the ability to identify individual tigers in the BTP ecosystem.
You can view some of these incredible videos here:

Our Wildlife Protection Units (WPU) continue to patrol the BTP ecosystem to protect the precious wildlife including the Sumatran tiger population. The main activities of the WPU have been:
  1. Regular patrols to find and assess illegal activities. WPU patrols are also a deterrent for people undertaking forest/wildlife crimes. 
  2. Destroying logging camps and deactivating snares found in forest. 
  3. Mapping of illegal activities and wildlife locations. This is done using GPS data (see example map below).
  4. Wildlife surveys including camera trapping (see recent Sumatran tiger camera trap photo)
  5. Liaising with local people about the importance of the BTP ecosystem.
This map shows where the patrols have focused during October – December 2016. 

Patrol areas of WPU teams during October-December 2016. WPU teams focus mainly on documenting illegal activities in Sector D & E and assisting wildlife survey in Sector C.

The main threats to Sumatran tigers are:  
  1. poaching (hunters trap or shoot them for their skin, body parts and bones), and 
  2. habitat loss due to expansion of oil palm plantations and pulp paper plantations.
Wildlife Protection Units are responsible for educating local people about laws against poaching wildlife, gathering information about illegal activities and reporting these to the Forestry police and collecting wildlife data as an evaluation tool for ecosystem conditions at BTP.

Local people are employed as members of the WPU, giving good employment opportunities to local people and increasing the profile of the Sumatran tiger and its importance in the area. WPU members receive extensive training including first aid, wildlife crime investigation, survey techniques and report writing. To date, the WPUs have been highly successful in deterring illegal activities within the ecosystem.

Wildlife Protection Unit members dismantling a snare

We also support a Mobile Education Unit (MEU) in the BTP ecosystem to educate local people about the orangutan release programme at BTP and other wildlife living in BTP such as Sumatran tigers and elephants. The MEU participated in the “Tebo Regency 17th Anniversary” Exhibition during October 2016. Tebo Regency covers half of the BTP landscape in Jambi Province, thus awareness activities in this regency are imperative. The MEU had an information booth about wildlife in the BTP ecosystem and handicraft products made by the indigenous ‘Talang Mamak’ tribe were also on display. 

The booth was popular and crowded every evening by people interested in the charismatic wildlife of BTP. Most visitors live in Tebo town, but many originated from other villages in the regency, including from villages bordering the BTP National Park. A colouring competition for children was held on the last day of the exhibition, with the Sumatran tiger being a popular choice!

Children show their colouring results after the competition was held

The eye catching Mobile Education Unit vehicle with tiger stripes

Tiger Trivia:
The sense of smell in tigers is not as acute as some of its other senses and it generally isn’t used for hunting. The sense of smell is mainly used for communicating information with other tigers that includes territorial boundaries and reproductive status. 
Tigers, especially females, are territorial and they mark their territory by spraying plants with their pungent urine. A female will do this when she is coming into oestrous and is ready to mate to alert male tigers that may pass through her territory. 

Thanks to you, the BTP ecosystem remains protected for our adopted tigers Berani, Cinta and Langka, giving them every chance to survive and flourish in their natural habitat. Your adoption funds make this possible. 

Thank you! 

Leif Cocks (President ITP)

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  • Berani
  • Cinta
  • Langka