Sumatran Tiger Conservation
Critically endangered and present nowhere else in the world, the Sumatran tiger is one of those species most vulnerable to the changes currently witnessed in Indonesia. Much of the ZSL Indonesia Field Programme's activities focus on the Sumatran tiger.
Sumatra, part of the Sundaland biodiversity hotspot, is one of the islands hardest hit by changes to Indonesia’s environment, with some of the highest rates of deforestation and landscape change in the whole archipelago.
Within this period of transformation the tiger, as a large ranging species and a long history of conflict with people represents one of the biggest challenges to conservation.
ZSL is involved with a number of projects to save this species, which are detailed on this page.
Tiger Conflict Veterinary Workshop
To enable Indonesian vets and other staff to assist the Indonesian Forestry Department in saving the tigers that come into conflict with humans, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) ran a veterinary training course in early 2012 in partnership with Taman Safari Indonesia, (TSI, a large zoo on Java) to increase their practical skills.
Biodiversity and oil palm project
Much like the rest of the world, ZSL hasn't lost its appetite for engaging with the palm oil industry.
Our Biodiversity and Oil Palm Project will use the information we gleaned during the Jambi Tiger Project to go one step further towards reducing the impact this crop has on Indonesia's diverse array of species.
Berbak Carbon Initiative
Generating carbon credits from avoided deforestation and degradation (REDD) is becoming increasingly popular, presenting an opportunity to harness this money to support sustainable management of the Berbak ecosystem and its tigers.
The peat swamp forest of Berbak National Park and its surrounding buffer zone is rich in biodiversity, home to several endangered species including the Sumatran tiger. It also stores vast amounts of carbon in its deep peat soils.
The forest is being lost to forest and peat fires, illegal and unsustainable logging, and encroaching farmland, releasing millions of tons of greenhouse gases.
ZSL and the Berbak National Park Authority have drawn up a plan to conserve this vital landscape by harnessing the value of its massive carbon store.’
Tiger Territory, home to critically-endangered Sumatran tigers, is now open at ZSL London Zoo, where the 186-year-old site has undergone a massive redevelopment to make way for the brand new 2,500sqm (27,000sqft) enclosure.
Visitors to Tiger Territory will embark on a journey through an Indonesian habitat, coming face-to-face with beautiful tigers through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Five times the size of the current tiger enclosure, the new exhibit has been designed with ZSL’s team of tiger keepers, conservationists and experts to ensure that it perfectly suits the big cats’ needs.
ZSL is a registered charity which relies entirely on donations. If you would like to help save these tigers please donate here. Many Thanks.
Jae Jae - the male Sumatran Tiger at ZSL London Zoo
ZSL’s team in Sumatra is dedicated to stopping tiger attacks on livestock and people. ZSL is working hard dealing with problem tigers; a last resort is to move the animal to a new area, called ‘translocation’.
Translocating a problem tiger is a difficult and complicated task. When a tiger is translocated ZSL’s Indonesia’s country coordinator is called to put a radio collar on the tiger and follow it in the months after its release in the new area. Radio-tracking tigers allows us to gain valuable data on how tigers respond to translocation, helping future efforts to deal with problem tigers.
Wildlife Crime and Detection In Berbak National Park
Maintaining and Promoting Wildlife Crime Action Network in Berbak National Park
Poaching of tigers and their prey, as well as killing of tigers in response to conflicts, are the
two major causes of Sumatran tiger deaths at human hands.
ZSL has now set up two“Wildlife Conflict and Crime Response Teams” (WCCRTs) to address key threats to tigers
including poaching, illegal trading and other human-wildlife conflict.
Dangku Corporate Conservation Complex
Dangku conservation area in South Sumatra plays a crucial role in supporting critically endangered Sumatran tigers.Concerningly, logging and clearance of this habitat means that it is now considered too small to support a viable tiger population in isolation.
Connecting this conservation area to small patches of forest in the surrounding landscape is key to the survival of this species.
Succeeding in achieving this will require the co-operation of the companies that control the large tracts of land which separate these areas of forest. ZSL will work with local industries to maintain connectivity for tigers across this region.
21st Century Tiger
21st Century Tiger supports tiger conservation projects in many of the 13 tiger range countries. Core projects receiving long-term support are in Russia, India and Sumatra.
21st Century Tiger is a unique initiative which raises funds for wild tiger conservation projects. The current members of the initiative are Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation and Zoological Society of London.
Established in 1997, it has since become one of the top seven tiger funding agencies globally and has contributed over £1.7 million to over 130 individual proposals for 70 tiger projects in seven countries worldwide.
Find out more about the work we are doing in these special photostories:
Publications and Further Reading
Commercial landscapes dominate the unprotected areas in Indonesia, with the oil palm industry – particularly following recent demands for biofuel - the fastest growing sector and a major cause for concern amongst environmentalists.
Teagues Tiger Tales
Teague Stubbington is one of the Senior big cat keepers at ZSL London Zoo. He won the Dr Michael Bramble travel award and left the Zoo's tigers to visit his colleagues in Indonesia who are working hard to conserve the Sumatran tiger in the wild
Read His Blog Here Teagues Tiger Tales