Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Only 40-50 Sumatran Tigers left

Only 40-50 Sumatran Tigers left

 

Sumatran tigers (Panthera Tigris Sunatrae) in  the Way Kambas National Park (TNWK) (Where our sponsored tiger Nini lives) in Lampung province today number not  more than 50, the chief of the local Natural Resources Conservatin Agency (BKSDA) Agus Haryanta said here on Wednesday.

 

"Latest data from the Lampung Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) in 2003 indicate that the number of Sumatran tigers now is not more than 40 to 50," Agus Haryanta said at a function  commemorating Tiger Day II here.

   

He said the Sumatran tigers are on the brink of extinction because of uncontrolable poaching and illegal logging in their habitat in Way Kambas National Park.

   

Thus, he called on all parties to participate in the conservation of the Sumatran tiger which is found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra in habitat that ranges from lowland forest to sub mountain and mountain forest including some peat moss forests.

   

Meanwhile, Lampung WCU spokesman Budiman said that according to International Union Commission on Nature (IUCN), Sumatran tigers were categorized into very critically endangered species.

   

"Javanese tigers (Panthera Tigris Sondaicus) and Balinese tigers (Panthera Tigris Balica) became extinct at the end of 1970s and thus we do not want Sumatran tigers to be in similar fate," Budiman said.

   

He said that to save Sumatran tigers, Lampung WCU on July 5, 2005 declared "Tiger Day I".

   

Tiger Day was commemorated as part of an attempt to save Sumatran tigers.

   

According the the Tiger Information Center and the World Wildlife Fund there are no more than 500 of these tigers left in the wild with some estimates considerably lower.

   

Sumatra has undergone much agricultural growth and as a result, tiger habitats had become fragmented with about 400 tigers inhabiting five national parks and two game reserves.

   

The largest population of about 110 tigers lives in Gunung Leuser National Park.  Another 100 live in unprotected areas that will soon  be lost to agriculture.

   

The tigers that live in unprotected areas are very vulnerable to poaching as well as the killing of problem animals that come in contact with villagers encroaching on the animal`s habitat. 

   

Sumatran tigers are critically endangered.  The Indonesian Sumatran Tiger Conservation Strategy was  established by the Indonesian Forestry Ministy and it outlines management strategies for both wild and captive tiger populations.

   

Even without any further losses of these magnificent animals, the present populations are so small that they are vulnerable to severe environmental catastrophes, as well as genetic problems typical of small populations.

 

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For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

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