The Sumatran Tiger: On the brink of extinction

The Alarming Facts

Sumatran Tigers are the smallest surviving tiger subspecies. They are found only on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. The Sumatran Tiger are the only surviving tiger of the Sunda Island group, which included the now extinct Bali Tiger and Javan Tiger. However, these beautiful creatures are now critically endangered themselves, with estimates of fewer than 400 currently fighting for survival in the wild. The infographic below illustrates their population decline. 

How did we get to this point?

Sadly, most tigers are killed deliberately for commercial gain. There is shockingly still a strong demand for animal body parts with black market prices for tiger skins at around US$35,000. According to a survey by Traffic, 78% of estimated Sumatran Tiger deaths can be attributed to poaching - this is approximately 40 tigers a year. 

In addition, from 1985 to 1997 there was a loss of approximately 17 million acres of forest in Sumatra due to deforestation. The below infographic should put the sheer scale of this number into perspective. This habitat destruction has lead to the Sumatran Tiger being forced into more settled areas in search for food. This sometimes leads to livestock falling prey to the tiger, and at times, even human injury which ultimately leads to human-tiger conflict.


What can you do to help?

Amazing organisations like Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors are helping the voiceless Sumatran Tiger stand-up to the poachers. They are leading the way in tiger conservation by helping to fund and train anti-poaching patrol units in partnership with Fauna & Flora International in Kerinci Seblat National Park Sumatra. 

The anti-poaching patrol program is made up of 6 units who work patrolling the forest where they act as a deterrent for poachers and people illegally encroaching into the tigers’ habitat. They also remove hundreds of snares each year and help local communities mitigate conflict with wildlife. This program is now widely recognised as the most successful tiger conservation law enforcement program in South East Asia. Kerinci Seblat is thought to contain the largest population of Sumatran tigers in a continuous forest habitat making it vital for the future of the species.

You can directly donate to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Tiger 511 Project. In addition we donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of all products to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Tiger 511 Project. 


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published