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Showing our Stripes

Categories: Conservation

Supporting Sumatran Tiger Conservation Efforts

In the tropical forests of Sumatra, the smallest subspecies of tiger is losing the race against habitat loss, tiger-human conflict and poaching. There may be fewer than 400 of the Critically Endangered Sumatran Tiger living in the wild today. Without critical conservation efforts, this noble creature could end up like its extinct Javan and Balinese relatives.

Habitat destruction is forcing the tigers into settled areas in search of food. There they get caught in snares, are more susceptible to poaching and encounter people – which often leads to deadly retaliatory action against the tigers by villagers angry over livestock predation.

Started in 2012 and coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Tiger Species Survival Plan® (SSP), the Tiger Conservation Campaign is providing critical on-the-ground efforts to address threats and secure a future for wild tigers. The Sacramento Zoo supports the Tiger Conservation Campaign in their efforts to save the Sumatran Tiger by actively preventing or solving tiger-human conflicts.

Today, with the help of the Tiger Conservation Campaign, nearly all of the villages along the boundaries of Sumatra’s Gunung Leuser National Park are monitored to prevent tiger-human conflicts and resolve any that occur. Teams have built more than 40 tiger-proof enclosures, which house domestic livestock at night so that they are safe from tiger predation, and tigers are safe from human retaliation. These pens are an immediate benefit to local communities and build trust for tiger conservation activities. Tiger-human conflict mitigation teams also rescue tigers caught in snares and return them to the wild whenever possible.

Through the efforts of the Tiger Conservation Campaign, the number of tigers killed or unnecessarily removed from Sumatra’s Leuser Landscape due to tiger-human conflict has been dramatically reduced since the project began in 2008. Conservation is most successful when supported by local people. The Tiger Conservation Campaign funds outreach and educational activities that raise local awareness about the importance of tigers and other wildlife, as well as activities to protect them.

Accredited zoos, like the Sacramento Zoo, are saving wild tigers. Learn more now.