Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) are native to Sumatra and are classified as critically endangered by IUCN. Their numbers have been decimated by deforestation and rampant poaching, driven by a demand for traditional Chinese medicines and trophies. There are only TWO viable populations left of Sumatran tigers; one of these is in the Leuser Ecosystem. There are thought to be fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left on Earth. Increasing habitat loss means loss of prey and tigers are under increasing pressure to find food and often come out of the forest.
Our ranger team regularly find signs of Sumatran tigers while on patrol along the forest edge in very close proximity to forest edge communities. Since 2019 Sumatran Ranger Project has worked to support forest edge communities to mitigate and prevent human-tiger conflict. Tigers can prey on livestock that are usually grazed in plantations overnight. These plantations are hard up against the forest and cows make an easy meal for a hungry tiger. Loss of a single cow can represent a huge loss of income and rather than compensate owners for each loss of a cow which is costly and unsustainable, we have been working with communities to provide them with predator-proof livestock corrals in which to safely house their livestock overnight. See Our Work for more information.
Tigers are the apex predator within the Leuser Ecosystem and vital to the health of the forest. They are the smallest surviving tiger subspecies, have more stripes than any other, their stripes are closer together than and they are also a darker orange than any other subspecies, giving them superb camouflage in the forest.