JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) – Indonesia’s critically endangered Sumatran tiger’s population has reduced to less than 30 in the Way Kambas National Park, local media reported Tuesday.
The 125,000-acre park, which is located in Lampung, in the southern region of Sumatra, listed poaching and the destruction of natural habitats as the two two main causes of the tiger’s decline. In 2000, its population was estimated to be at 36 to 40 tigers.
“We monitored their number through camera traps in 2010 and estimated that there were around 30 tigers, a decrease compared to 2000,” Coordinator of the Sumatran Tiger Rescue and Conservation Foundation Sumianto told the Jakarta Post.
With an unguaranteed gestation period of 20 months, the Sumatran tiger, Sumianto warned, if the Indonesian government does not step up its efforts to stop poachers, could soon become extinct in Way Kambas.
Even though no poaching cases were reported in the last 6 years, it does not mean it has stopped. In 2003, rangers discovered 13 cases of tiger poaching, 9 in 2004, and only one in 2005. However, before 2002, the practice was extremely common.
Way Kambas became a national park in 1972 but previous unregulated logging has left the area with little primary forest. In addition, to the Sumatran tiger, it is also home to elephants, several bird species, and Sumatran Rhinoceros, which have an estimated population of less than 300 in all of Southeast Asia.