Forest Fires Drive Sumatran Tiger From Their Habitats
Indonesia, home to the Sumatran tiger, joined celebrations on International Tiger Day, observed on July 25, to raise support for the conservation of tigers.
The Sumatran tiger is the only surviving tiger in the country, and the smallest of the five tiger subspecies in the world. In the 1970s, the number of Sumatran tigers had reached some 1,000, though the figure decreased to 800 by the 1980s. Currently, the population is believed to be between 400 and 600 tigers.
In earlier days, Indonesia was home to three tiger species, including the Bali tiger, which became extinct in 1940, and the Java tiger, declared extinct in the 1980s.
While environmentalists, experts and officials campaigned during Global Tiger Day, still, the few remaining Sumatran tigers have to struggle to survive, as Sumatra Island has been ravaged by hundreds of hotspots, similar to forest fires, since July 2019.
Riau Province on Sumatra Island has been the most affected by forest fires. Wildfires also broke out in the province’s Tesso Nilo, a 81,700-hectare national park, which is a habitat for critically endangered tigers and elephants.
Indonesian island Sumatra is like the Amazon: in fire because of ruthless industries that prearrange the fires.
Of course palm oil is the biggest threat to habitats of a.o. tigers but loggers do the work. They start the fires after they have picked the best trees. The results: dead animals and animals thrown out of their habitat, being forced to enter human territory.
Now Indonesia is setting up cultural programs to prevent locals using snares. Although this is a problem, it is not the biggest threat.
Indonesia MUST put more emphasis on preventing pre-arranged forest forest.