Sumatran Ranger Project

The Sumatran Ranger Project (SRP) is a community conservation initiative whose vision is to ensure the long-term protection of the buffer zone of the Leuser Ecosystem in North Sumatra. Their mission is to halt activities that damage the buffer zone and are a threat to wildlife, and to assist forest edge communities living within the buffer zone.

The Leuser Ecosystem is one of the world’s richest forest areas where Sumatran elephants, tigers, orangutans, and rhinoceros co-exist. SRP employs a team of local people to patrol several forest edge or buffer zone communities in the Leuser Ecosystem to collect data, conduct surveys, remove snares, provide wildlife conflict assistance, and provide educational outreach. Snare removal is a vital part of the SRP patrols since these can cause devastating injuries and death to tigers. The project has a strong focus on empowering local communities to identify sustainable alternative income solutions, to help reduce their reliance on harmful activities such as poaching and the palm oil industry.

Tigers are monitored and identified via camera traps set up by SRP in the area. The SRP ranger team regularly find signs of Sumatran tigers on camera traps and on patrol outside the Gunung Leuser National Park, in very close proximity to forest edge communities. This proximity often leads to human-tiger conflict. Sumatran tigers have killed livestock in these areas and at times, local farmers have set up snares in retaliation. To reduce human-tiger conflict, the SRP team works with local farmers to drive tigers back into the forest using non-lethal means. They also work closely with the community to provide school supplies and develop alternative income opportunities, along with education on how to reduce livestock loss to predators. The presence of the SRP team in forest edge communities is a key way we’re seeking to conserve the small but vital population of Sumatran tigers in this landscape.

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