My name is Rachael and I run Animal Travels which is a blog aimed at spreading awareness about wildlife and conservation. I’ve been given the honour of teaming up with Katzenworld to bring you a guest post showcasing the plight of the Sumatran Tiger and the conservation work that is being done to save this subspecies. I hope you enjoy this post!
Tigers worldwide are struggling to survive as a species; the Sumatran Tiger however is having the most difficult time. This subspecies of tiger is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN Red List.
Native to Indonesia (specifically Sumatra) The Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is genetically and morphologically distinct from the other mainland tigers. Sumatran Tigers are the smallest subspecies of tiger worldwide reaching similar sizes to leopards and jaguars. Visually the Sumatran Tiger has darker fur and broader stripes than the Javan Tiger and also has a higher frequency of stripes than other tiger species. Sumatran Tigers are also the only tiger subspecies that has stripes that dissolve into spots around the tail and legs.
With only around 400 individuals left in the wild it is obvious that this subspecies is facing some major threats to their survival. The human expansion of oil palm and Acacia plantations is encroaching onto the natural range of the Sumatran Tiger causing a reduction in their territory and ultimately their hunting range. Also, humans are also capturing the Sumatran Tigers for illegal trade, selling the majestic animals as pets to willing buyers.
Over the years there have been many projects set up to try and save the Sumatran Tiger, this includes both in-situ and ex-situ conservation projects. Breeding projects are a important aspect of ex-situ conservation and there have been Sumatran Tiger cubs born at both Chester Zoo and London Zoo in recent years. Most recently the Batu Nanggar Sanctuary was opened in November 2016 at North Padang Lawas Regency in North Sumatra.