To save the tiger, we must know where the tiger lives, how many remain, and understand its major threats. A criticism commonly heard is that too much money is spent on fieldwork and not enough is spent on conservation. While the latter is certainly true, the former is not. Good conservation requires good science. We cannot hope to save a species we do not understand. We cannot hope to overcome obstacles we can't identify. And we certainly can't hope to succeed on blind optimism alone.
The yellow stars on the map represent the different areas we work in Sumatra. Click on them for more information on each of these areas.
We currently run the largest tiger conservation field program in Indonesia. We are personally connected with the world's leading conservation scientists. Our findings are already being published in the world's leading journals and conservation texts. We are confident that our conservation goals will only be successful if we also continue basic research, monitoring, and assessment. The fieldwork will identify new problems and solutions, and the conservation will suggest new needs for information. It is this synergy that will enable our program to succeed where so many others have failed.
Our teams will continue to identify where tigers live, how many live in each habitat patch, and assess the status of its prey, habitat requirements, and threats. The Program will carry out this fieldwork primarily through a network of tiger conservation teams already developed. Geographic information systems and satellite image analysis will be crucial tools to identify priority habitat and to develop databases to synthesize the information coming from the field. Publication and presentation of our activities and results in Indonesia and internationally will be crucial to maintain the highest levels of scientific rigor, scrutiny, and to enable positive feedback on our research and conservation activities. We will be partaking in a mammoth and virtually unprecedented undertaking and it will be critical that we document our successes and failures if others are to learn and borrow from our experiences.