Special Operations Held to Prevent Extinction of Sumatra Tigers

JAMBI

The Special Tiger Police (PHS) Unit of Kerinci Seblat National Park (TNKS) are conducting a special operation during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadhan as part of efforts to prevent extinction of Sumatran tigers.

The annual “traps sweep” operation in the Islamic holy month is actually only one of the efforts to slow the process of extinction of the Panthera Tigris Sumatrae species, field manager of the patrol unit (PFS) of the park, Dian Risdianto, said here. He said the population of the animal species had continued to decline to currently between 100 and 200 heads in the TNKS or is on the brink of extinction.

He said “tigers live individually or not in a group like lions and so they need a vast forest to survive while the TNKS is already shrinking.”

He said tigers were also very selective when mating, adding “the animal would only mate with a female tiger who is really healthy and not of his family line.

To get a good mate a tiger has a zone of 50 square kilometers while a female tiger only around 20 square kilometers, Dian said.

In view of the remaining number it could be concluded that incest had happened and the remaining tigers could probably be unhealthy or infertile due to incest, he said.

“So efforts taken so far are merely slowing the process of extinction,” he added. “In view of that we are pessimistic upon hearing recent reports that two or three Javanese tigers still exist. That is the same as having been extinct. Even we say that extinction has happened in Jambi with its three parks namely TNB12, TNB30 and TN Berbak because the number of tigers left there is just a few or very critical,” he said.

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