West Sumatra is some of the most important habitat for the Critically Endangered Sumatran Tiger. There is still forest available, but without immediate intervention, both the forest and the Sumatran tigers who rely on the forest for survival are at risk. The destruction of their forest habitat, as well as poaching for tiger skin, teeth and other body parts are still the main threats to this species.
This is why the local authorities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (aka BKSDA), asked us to form our new Tiger Team. With our decades of experience in monitoring forests, educating and empowering communities, and protecting tigers from snares and poaching, we’re working with villages, chiefs, school children and local police to help save this iconic species.
Last year police, the BKSDA and our partners confiscated tiger skins and other body parts from a black market operative. This horrific trade continues to flourish in West Sumatra, and is one of the key reasons our Tiger Team was formed. You can help save Sumatran tigers from the barbaric trade in tiger body parts. Please donate today.
Since February this year, we’ve been coordinating with the BKSDA of West Sumatra, local government, community leaders, and the local police based in Nagari Sontang Cubadak.
This village borders the Pasaman Protected Forest, which is an important habitat for the Sumatran tiger. The only way we can save the Sumatran tiger is by working with local communities and providing them with employment opportunities that save the environment.
Our Tiger Team includes local community members, who were suggested to us by the local village leaders. In the long run, we want to create a Tiger Friendly Nagari, where the local communities will not only love and respect the tigers who live in the forests near their villages, but will also avoid conflict with tigers. The aim is to help the Nagari Sontang Cubadak be a tiger friendly village, with a large focus on tiger and forest conservation as well as conflict mitigation. And it starts with our Tiger Team patrolling the forest and installing camera traps (pictured below) to develop a clearer understanding of the wildlife in the area.
About the Nagari Sontang region
The village of Nagari Sontang Cubadak, in the Province of West Sumatra, is ideally placed for conservation of tigers and other wildlife. This is because it is surrounded by forest areas including Batang Gadis National Park area to the north, the Bukit Barisan forest area to the east, Rimbo Panti Nature Reserve to the south, and a Protected Forest area to the west. As it is close to the border with North Sumatra, it’s also a culturally diverse area with a number of cultural groups living there, including Minang, Batak, Malay, Javanese and Sundanese.
The village is quite remote, taking at least six hours via four-wheel drive vehicle to travel there from the main city of Padang. The villagers rely heavily on agriculture for their survival, including rice, cocoa, coffee and palm oil. Most make their living as farmers, and there is also a significant focus on pig hunting in the area. The team also discovered illegal logging and gold mining in the river in their initial assessment of the region. Below you can see the Tiger Team whilst on patrol in the Nagari Sontang.
Please help us protect tigers in West Sumatra from wildlife crime.
The aim of Tiger Friendly Nagari is to engage with the community (including the head of the village, local farmers, and school children) to create a greater awareness of all wildlife living nearby. We hope that Nagari Sontang Cubadak will learn to protect and care for wildlife. And with your help, this is possible. Please donate today.
Below you can see the Tiger Team engaging with local community members and cocoa farmers, as well as beautiful photos of the Nagari Sontang.