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Keywords:

  • hunting tigers;
  • Sumatra;
  • Sumatran tiger distribution;
  • Tiger Conservation Landscapes;
  • tiger–human conflict

Abstract

The majority of wild Sumatran tigers are believed to live in 12 Tiger Conservation Landscapes covering approximately 88 000 km2. However, the actual distribution of tigers across Sumatra has never been accurately mapped. Over the past 20 years, conservation efforts focused on the Sumatran tigers have increased, but the population continues to decline as a result of several key threats. To identify the status of the Sumatran tiger distribution across the island, an island-wide questionnaire survey comprised of 35 respondents from various backgrounds was conducted between May and June 2010. The survey found that Sumatran tigers are positively present in 27 habitat patches larger than 250 km2 and possibly present in another 2. In addition, a review on major published studies on the Sumatran tiger was conducted to identify the current conservation status of the Sumatran tiger. Collectively, these studies have identified several key factors that have contributed to the decline of Sumatran tiger populations, including: forest habitat fragmentation and loss, direct killing of tigers and their prey, and the retaliatory killing of tigers due to conflict with villagers. The present paper provides management authorities and the international community with a recent assessment and a base map of the actual distribution of Sumatran tigers as well as a general overview on the current status and possible future conservation challenges of Sumatran tiger management.