Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) are native to Sumatra and classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Their numbers have been decimated by deforestation and rampant poaching, driven by a demand for traditional medicines and trophies. There are thought to be fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left on Earth with only a few viable populations remaining; one of these is in the Leuser Ecosystem. Increasing habitat loss and fragmentation means loss of prey; tigers are under increasing pressure to find food and have to come out of the forest and into plantations. Tigers are the apex predator within the Leuser Ecosystem and vital to the health of the forest. They are the smallest and most stripy of the extant tiger subspecies and their stripes are closer together giving them superb camouflage.
Our ranger teams regularly find signs of Sumatran tigers whilst on patrol along the forest edge in and around forest edge communities. Since 2019 Sumatran Ranger Project has worked to support these communities to mitigate and prevent human-tiger conflict. Tigers can prey on livestock that are grazed in plantations overnight. These plantations are up against the forest and cows make an easy meal for a hungry tiger. Loss of a single cow can represent a significant income loss and rather than compensate owners for each loss 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. This has positive consequences for tigers and humans. See Our Work for more information.