TIGER COMMANDO ANTI-POACHING PATROL

Following the discovery of Sumatran tiger cubs on the Green Life reserve in 2015 we have strengthened our anti-poaching patrols by creating Tiger Commando. Operational from February 2016, Tiger Commando employs 4 local Indonesians to guard the Green Life reserve and the border of the Gunung Leuser National Park.  They are supervised by reserve manager Zbyněk Hrábek.

Tiger Commando with donated camera

Tiger Commando on patrol

DUTIES OF THE TIGER COMMANDO ON THE GREEN LIFE RESERVE

– regular patrols to detect and deter poachers

– removal of poachers’ traps and camps

– check and record camera trap data

– guard the border of the GLNP between the Berkail and Sekelam rivers

– maintenance of the main trails and boundary of the Green Life reserve

– inform local people about tiger conservation and the threat of poaching

– swift response team for suspected tiger attack on livestock

LICENCE AGREEMENT

We are presently finalising the details of a collaboration agreement with the Gunung Leuser National Park authority. It will allow us to patrol and place camera traps in the park, in return for providing staff to accompany GLNP guards on some extended 7-14 day patrols.

VIRTUAL TIGER COMMANDO

To help fund the anti-poaching patrol we are offering you the chance to be a Virtual Tiger Commando. For a donation of £30 you can access images from the camera traps and photos from patrols. See what we do and be part of a team combatting poaching in the Gunung Leuser National Park.

300 hundred members would pay the costs of the present team for one year. 600 would allow us to increase the size of the team and make more patrols in this understudied environment…

TIGERS IN THE GREEN LIFE RESERVE

Over 2 years of monitoring we have 13 clear sightings on camera trap of Sumatran tigers in the Green Life reserve. In November 2014 we captured a tigress on film, probably with another tiger, but the quality of that video wasn’t good enough to be certain. In February 2015 a huge male was recorded close to Green Camp II.

In October 2015 we recorded the tigress, previously seen in 2014, close to Green Camp II three times. On the third occasion, she came with two cubs around one year old. The presence of the cubs has strengthened our commitment to tiger protection and so we have created the Tiger Commando patrol.

Tiger above Green Life reserve

Sumatran tigers in the GLNP

THREATS TO THE TIGER 

The Sumatran tiger (Panthera Tigris sumatrae) is listed as a critically endangered species, with only 300-500 animals left in the wild. 

The Sumatran tiger is the only surviving member of a group of tigers that includes the now extinct Balinese and Javan tigers. A 1978 census reported around 1,000 Sumatran tigers in the wild.  30 years later it was classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature when its population was estimated at fewer than 680 individuals. The decline continues and the viability of the population becomes more precarious. Loss of habitat leads to loss of prey species and increased human-tiger conflict, while forest fragmentation reduces the chances of finding a suitable mate. However, given enough habitat, prey and protection from poaching, tigers breed readily, so it is possible to reverse this decline and establish a healthy viable population.

Destruction of habitat is considered the greatest threat to the survival of the Sumatran tiger, followed by poaching. They are hunted for their skins, and for body parts that are used in traditional Chinese medicine: bones, teeth, claws, testicles and entrails. Poachers set traps, wire-eyes or iron-eyes for catching tigers, causing a slow and painful death. In October 2015, a group of poachers was exposed trying to sell tiger skins in a hotel in Binjai. They were from the Bohorok district and had caught the tigers in nearby Tangkahan. This shows that the threat to our tiger family is very close.

Green Patrol and poachers: 

Film about anti-poaching patrols working in the Gunung Leuser National Park. It includes a confrontation with poachers.

SUPPORT TIGER COMMANDO

The commitment to Tiger Commando represents a significant increase in the expenses of the Green Life Project. The monthly wage costs will be £550. To assist with our financial planning, we are asking our sponsors to consider a regular monthly donation.

A £5 donation, for example, would pay one person’s wage for a day, every month.