A tiger conservation project was established in Way Kambas National Park in 1995. Over the years this project has evolved and is now known as The Sumatran Tiger Trust Conservation Programme (STTCP.) In 2000, we extended the project to Bukit Tigapuluh National Park and in 2003 we also began working in Senepis Buluhala Tiger Conservation Area.
What are we doing to help?
There are 3 key stages to tiger conservation; research, education and protection.
Camera Monitoring - Sumatra is twice the size of the UK, with rugged terrain making many areas inaccessible. It is exceptionally difficult to track tigers in order to study them. To save the tiger, we must know where the tiger lives, how many remain, and understand its major threats. Conventional census methods are ineffective as tigers are so elusive they are almost impossible to see in the wild. The project carries out this fieldwork primarily through a network of tiger conservation teams. We have provided over 50 infra-red remote cameras which have been strategically placed all over our three sites which accurately records any tigers that pass by them, their prey, as well as a host of other wildlife.
Anti-Poaching Teams - We currently fund 9 anti-poaching teams in the forests. They roam the forests looking for poachers and destroying any tiger traps they come across. We provide full training for every member of staff to enable them to live for weeks at a time deep in the forests, whilst protecting the tigers. These men tolerate intense heat, humidity, insects, wet clothes and boots and all because they are personally committed to protect their Sumatran Tigers.
We have also paid for 4X4 off road vehicles, speedboats, motorbikes, uniforms, boots, socks, hand held cameras, tents, camping stoves, bed mats, guns and anything else they need.
Tiger Relocation Teams – These highly trained teams capture and relocate any tigers that have wandered into villages and release them in safe forests where they will be free to roam again. Unfortunately due to the high number of tigers that have become displaced, they have become highly skilled in relocating tigers.
Working With Local Communities
Protecting the tigers however is not enough. We also need to engage with the local communities in order to teach them why we need to protect the tigers and gain their valuable support, as the area in which they live is so vast. Our team has formed valuable friendships with remote villages.
The villagers have agreed to provide a base for our rangers when they are deep within the forests and also provide them with extra local knowledge and information on the local terrain. In return for this help, we have now built two schoolhouses for the children of the villages and have paid for a teacher to work with the children. The response from the children, and the village elders, has been amazing. Within a very short time the children had learnt the alphabet and simple sums.
Some of these children walk for more than 2 hours each day as they are so desperate to be in school!
Our anti-poaching patrols regularly visit the school, teaching them all about tigers. This whole project has been a huge success and as a direct result some of the older village children have now become part of our team.
We have plans to start a scheme whereby you can sponsor a child or teacher in one of our schools for £10 per year, which would ensure that they continue to receive an education and provide them with books and pencils.
Infant mortality rates within Datai were as high as 50% between the ages of 0-2 as they did not have any access to basic medication that you or I would take for granted. We have therefore paid for a health visitor to visit the village once a week and we have seen big improvements already.
Every year we visit the project to ensure that it is continually improving and it is highly likely that had we not done this work the Sumatran Tiger would also be extinct by now.
Hopefully you will appreciate the massive long-term commitment we have made and with your help, together we will ensure a wild future for Sumatran Tigers!