Patrol team of Kerinci Seblat National Park again showed its capability to capture illegal wildlife poacher. In collaboration with Mukomuko Resort Police, Bengkulu Province, the patrol team managed to arrest Sumatran tiger hunters and trader on Wednesday, 5 September 2018 at Bengkulu – Padang crossing, Bunga Tanjung Village, Teramang Jaya District, Mukomuko Regency.
Last month on August 14, the same team also managed to arrest 2 perpetrators at Jalan Bangko – Kerinci, Pulau Rengas Village, Merangin District, Jambi Province.
The suspect who was arrested this month was named Heri alias Ujang, a resident of Bunga Tanjung Village. Evidence found with perpetrator was one 135 cm long Sumatran tiger skin plus 4 kg of bones.
Sumatran tiger has important value in safeguarding forest ecosystems. As apex predators, Sumatran tigers balance populations of other animals. In other words, protecting tigers can protect forest and its biodiversity.
Head of Kerinci Seblat National Park, Drs. Tamen Sitorus, M.Sc., revealed that TNKS is one of tiger habitats and one of Sumatran tiger conservation areas.
“If tiger trade continues around TNKS area, this will be a loss for people around the TNKS area in particular, and people of Sumatra in general,” Tamen said. “Therefore, I request support from all communities and related parties to jointly conserve this endangered and protected by law species,” he added.
Human and tiger conflicts negatively affect the number of tiger populations in Sumatra. This is discussed in the book “Spatio-temporal Patterns of Human-Tiger Conflicts in Sumatra (2001-2016)”.
There are two indicators that determine the negative impact of conflict on the Sumatran tiger population.
The first indicators are the tiger mortality index and the second is tiger removal index.
The tiger mortality index is measured by the number of tigers being killed in each conflict by poison, snares or killed after being rescued by government officials and staff of non-governmental organizations.
While the tiger removal index is the number of tigers being removed from their habitat when a conflict occurs. This tiger removal can occur because the tiger was killed or caught by the authorities and transferred to the zoo.
Data from 2001-2016 showed tiger mortality index and tiger removal index continue to increase.
The more the number of tigers killed and displaced, the higher the negative impact of conflict on tiger populations in Sumatra. Tiger populations will continue to decrease if human and tiger conflicts are not reduced or prevented. The Sumatran Tiger project is working with relevant stakeholders towards reducing human tiger conflicts.
We recently read the case of a female Sumatran tiger being killed by a hunter in the forest area in Gunung Leuser National Park. This type of conflicts is only one of the four human and tiger conflicts in Sumatra.
There are four types of human and tiger conflicts. The first is stray tiger when tigers are found wandering around the settlements or villages spreading fear but no casualties from either human or tiger.
The second type of conflict is livestock attack when tigers prey on cattle so that cattle are injured or killed. The third type of conflict is human attack, when a tiger attacks person causing injuries or human casualties. And the fourth type of conflict is when a tiger is killed by a human either with poison, snares, guns or other tools.
From the data obtained in the book “Spatio – Temporal Patterns of Human Tigers Conflicts in Sumatra 2001 – 2016”, the fourth conflict in which tigers are killed by humans by snares, toxins or other means does not occupy the top position in human and tiger conflicts.
Based on data collected from 2001-2016, there were 1065 cases of human-tiger conflicts in all parts of Sumatra.
The highest number of conflicts is the conflict of tigers preying on cattle with 376 cases. The second most common case was the stray tiger incident when tiger roamed around settlements or villages with 375 cases.
Human attacked directly by tigers so causing injuries and human casualties is in the third place with 184 cases. While the case of tigers being killed by snares, poison, gun shots and other tools is in the fourth position with 130 cases.
There are as few as 3,500 tigers left in the wild, we have to act now or this iconic animal could be extinct in less than 20 years (another reports mentioned in less than 15 years).
As apex predators, tigers shape the ecosystems in which they live. They prevent over-grazing by limiting herbivore numbers and maintain ecological integrity. Tigers are solitary and have large home ranges making them excellent ‘umbrella’ species providing space for a variety of other species to flourish.
Tiger reserves also sequester carbon, provide oxygen and slowly release ground water to regulate floods. Protecting the tiger will in turn protect these vital habitats.
Protecting existing tiger habitats and the reforestation of degraded habitat may help buffer the poorest communities in Asia against the impacts of river siltation and flooding, while providing global benefits.
Saving the tiger will help communities and local populations benefit from habitat resources and tourism.
Man is solely responsible for the slaughter of the tiger. In the natural world the tiger’s only predator is man. It is our collective responsibility to stop the killing and save the tiger in the wild.
Source: Tiger Time