The powerful Sumatran tiger roams the land with a strength and dignity that commands respect. Yet despite their prowess in the wild, these awesome animals have become critically endangered and are in need of protection – from humans.
Fauna & Flora International, (FFI), is dedicated toprotecting the Sumatran tiger in the Kerinci Seblat National Park on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Considered one of the most important tiger reserves in the world, the park covers a remarkable 3.24 million acres.
Although Sumatran tigers have been protected under law since the mid 1970s, tiger poaching for trafficking purposes remains a serious threat to the species - as does snare poaching of deer, in which tigers may be unintentionally trapped. For example, in June 2009, a young male tiger died in a deer snare right in the middle of this supposedly protected district. FFI’s field units have made it their goal to send a strong message. Since the program began in 2000, 21 tiger poachers and traffickers have been arrested and prosecuted - earning the program a reputation as one of the most successful wildlife protection units in Asia.
In addition, tiger crime and deer poaching have dropped significantly in all areas where the program has maintained a presence – and there are clear signs that tiger populations are beginning to recover. Yet measures against wildlife poaching and trafficking require a constant effort. The program’s strategy has been to develop partnerships with the national park and government agencies who share a commitment the Sumatran tigers. The growing tiger population in this area proves that it’s an approach that’s working.
The SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has supported FFI on a number of projects since 2004 and is proud to help maintain this stunning species.