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Sumatran tiger

Latin name: Panthera tigris sumatrae

Areas: | Indonesia |

IUCN Red List conservation status

About: Sumatran tiger

“In the last three years we have seen clear indications of a recovery in tiger populations in areas where our Tiger Protection & Conservation Units patrol. Undercover investigations by rangers followed by successful law enforcement is a clear and effective deterrent to wildlife criminals.”

Debbie Martyr, FFI Team Leader of Kerinci Tiger Project

Most recent surveys indicate there are 500-700 Sumatran tigers existing in the wild. Smallest of all the tigers, its stripes are narrower than in other tiger subspecies and it has a more bearded and maned appearance.

Sumatran tiger facts:

  • They are generally very shy and seek to avoid people
  • Sumatran tigers hunt wild boar and deer species but will take other prey opportunistically
  • 170 tigers live in and around Kerinci Seblat National Park, making this the largest known population and one of 12 global priorities for tiger conservation

One of the main threats to Sumatran tigers is poaching. Hunters trap or shoot them for their skin and bones, which are in high demand in Asian traditional medicine while there is still demand for skins both in Indonesia and overseas. Habitat loss due to expansion of oil palm plantations, acacia plantations and smallholder encroachment also threaten these big cats.

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) works in Indonesia’s Kerinci Seblat National Park to combat Sumatran tiger poaching and protect the big cat’s habitat through patrolling.

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Did you know?

Kerinci Seblat National Park is one of the few protected areas in Asia where, park-wide, tiger encounter records have stabilised since 2007 and are now increasing. This is due to the improved protection by the FFI-supported Tiger Protection & Conservation Programme.

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