Sumatran tiger in the Melbourne zoo, photo: Wikipedia
A rare bright spot in the world of tiger conservation: New research by the Wildlife Conservation Society's Indonesia Program and Forum HariumauKita has produced a new map of Sumatran tiger distribution which shows that the Indonesia island may actually have the second-highest population of tigers now alive in the world, second only to India. The survey found that tigers are still living on 97% of the suitable habitat on Sumatra, and in every eco-region from coastal lowland forests at sea level all the way to high mountain forests at elevations of 10,500 feet.
Which is the good news. The less good news is that just 29% of the remaining tiger habitat on the island is protected from development--doubly not good considering Indonesia's record on logging, conversion of forest to agriculture, etc. and this being the main threat to remaining Sumatran tiger habitat.
Hariyo Wibisono, who conducted the survey, says, "If the population is indeed as large as this new survey suggests then real action are more support from tiger expects and the international community should be mobilized in the conservation of Sumatran tigers." (Science Daily)
The results of this research will be published in a future issue of Integrative Zoology.
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