A to Z of Destinations
Australia, NZ and South Pacific
A to Z of Experiences
Walking and trekking
Diving and snorkelling
Wildlife and safaris
Meet the locals
Frontier and expedition
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Visiting the Poles
Career breaks and BIG trips
Body and soul
Volunteer and conservation
Australia, East Coast
Everest Base Camp
Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights
Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railway
Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
Great Wall of China
13th March 2012
A new study has revealed a lack of ground-level vegetation is bringing the Sumatran tiger to the brink of extinction
If the Sumatran rainforest is continually deforested, the world is likely to witness the extinction of the fourth sub-species of wild tiger, claims a report published by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Virginia Tech. Removal of forest and the loss of thick ground cover is thought to be one of the biggest threats to the tigers of Sumatra.
“As ambush hunters, tigers would find it hard to capture their prey without adequate understory cover,” said Sunarto, who earned his doctorate at Virginia Tech and is now a tiger expert for WWF-Indonesia.
“The lack of cover also leaves tigers vulnerable to persecution by humans, who generally perceive them as dangerous,” he added.
The study was the first of its kind to systematically investigate the use of both forests and plantation areas for tiger habitat. The report demonstrated that tigers thrive in core-forested areas, undisturbed and unpopulated by humans.
Although Indonesia has set up many national parks, 70% of tiger populations in Sumatra are still outside reserves.
"Even with current legal protection for the species, tigers are not doing well in many places, especially those outside protected areas," Sunarto said. "As long as forest conversion continues, tigers will require active protection or they will quickly disappear from our planet."
The Sumatran tiger is considered Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List.
As well as deforestation, high levels of human-tiger conflict and illegal trade in tiger parts are also considered to be a great threat to the nation's tigers. From 1998-2002 at least 51 tigers were killed annually, with 76% for purposes of trade and 15% out of conflict of the species with surrounding communities.
Wild tigers occupy 7% of their historic territories and global populations have dwindled from 100,000 to 3,200 in 100 years. More worryingly, less than a third are breeding females.
Last chance to see the tiger? | News... More
Tigers could be 'flushed' out of Sumatra | News... More
10 top spots to see tigers | Inspire me... More
Tiger watching travel guide | Plan a trip... More
The wonderful thing about tigers | Destination... More
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login or get more from Wanderlust - register today!
Indonesia travel guide, including map of Indonesia, places to see in Indonesia, key facts, travel tips, culture, wildlife, and health and safety for Indonesia
Love it or hate it, Jakarta’s the main gateway to Indonesia – here's how to spend your first day in the city
Rent a jeep for £6 a day, drive away from the crowds and discover a land rippled by rice terraces en route to the best wildlife-watching in South-East Asia
Indonesia’s Aceh province bore the brunt of the 2004 tsunami. Seven years on, travellers are discovering idyllic islands, rare wildlife and a story of recovery
Known as Hemiscyllium halmahera, the recently discovered shark moves along the sea bed using its fins
Bali's Health Agency has issued a warning to local residents and visitors to remain alert for rabies as dog bites become more frequent across the island
UPDATE: Hazardous smog levels from forest fires in Indonesia have forced Malaysia to declare a state of emergency
Simply select the destination you’re interested in or the activities you’re looking
for and we’ll send your request to a select panel of tour operators.
Each operator will respond to your request individually. Your details remain private
and are not disclosed to any partners unless you decide to proceed with a booking.
Save 43% on train tickets with the Train Line
SAVE 10% online with Rohan
Save £5 off every Visa with The Visa Machine
Wanderlust sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web
exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!
I have read and agree to the Terms &
Where in the world are you? Add
#wanderlustmag to your tweets and share your latest travel adventures with
fellow Wanderlusters on wanderlust.co.uk
Get to know Wanderlust on facebook and bring all your travel-minded friends, too