The West Sumatra Tiger Team is nearly ready to patrol!

In West Sumatra, in a region called Nagari Sontang, lives one of the most important populations of Sumatran tigers, but they are currently unprotected. With less than 400 Sumatran tigers left, the life of every single tiger is critically important.

Our partner, the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP), is in the process of forming a ranger team who will patrol and monitor the Nagari Sontang Forest. One of the first steps is mapping the area to identify where conflicts between humans and tigers have occurred in the past and where they might occur in the future. They’ll focus their efforts on these parts of the forest and community.

Below you can see a location map of West Sumatra Province, with the Nagari Sontang area identified by the red arc.

Until recently, the communities in this area had little education about the importance of protecting local forests and wildlife and how to avoid conflicts with wildlife such as Sumatran tigers. However, the Nagari people hold Sumatran tigers in high regard, believing these tigers are their ancestors. This is a good place to start to create a ‘Tiger Friendly Nagari’.

A key step in the program is to engage with the community, which COP are doing through what they call ‘socialisation activities’ in the local villages. ‘Tiger Friendly Nagari’ is the name of their program, and it aims to create a harmonious living atmosphere between the people of Nagari and the wildlife in the Nagari environment. 

Along with the West Sumatra government authorities, they held a  socialisation activity at the end of February, which was attended by 30 participants, including the District Head of the village, Nagari Sontang officials, traditional leaders, village heads, and members of the community. 

As part of this socialisation activity, material was presented by the West Sumatra BKSDA about how to reduce human-tiger conflict, as well as the purpose of Tiger Friendly Nagari and Nagari Children Patrol (PAGARI). This material will increase the level of community awareness about protecting the forest and wildlife in their environment. In the future, the formation of the PAGARI team will create future champions who are better able to protect nature, the environment and this precious population of Sumatran tigers. 

Some of the photos show the socialisation activities as well as a Nagari school the team visited to educate and engage the children to form the PAGARI.

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