Sumatran tiger poacher arrested in Indonesia

A team led by the Fauna & Flora International-supported Tiger Conservation Protection Unit (TCPU) and rangers from the Jambi Rapid Response Forest Guard arrested a 50 year-old man from Bungo district on the eastern edges of the Kerinci Seblat National Park in Jambi province in Sumatra today, seizing the skin of a Sumatran tiger as well as deer antlers.

The arrested man was a large mammal poacher who had previously told undercover team investigators that he has poached and sold over 23 Sumatran tiger skins.

The suspect and a second man were formally arrested and are being taken to the provincial capital of Jambi where local nature conservation agency officers will interview him about this case and previous poaching.

Fauna & Flora International’s work to protect wildlife from poachers in Sumatra is crucial as there are less than 600 Sumatran tigers left in the wild. Tiger skins and bones are still used in traditional Asian medicine and their skins are sold around the world , often used as carpets and decorations.

As a result of routine anti poaching patrols, investigations, conflict mitigation and law enforcement by the TCPU team, Kerinci Seblat National Park is one of only a handful of national parks in Asia where tiger populations are increasing slowly and poaching appears to have reduced.

Surveys led by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) show there are over 150 tigers in Kerinci Seblat National Park, the largest national park in Sumatra with an area of 13, 791 kilometers square.

The park covers parts of four provinces, including Jambi. The park is believed to now hold more tigers than many countries. This is the first arrest for 2011.