The Great Annual Kerinci Snare Sweepstake came to end last week after a month of hard work from the TCPU’s in Sumatra with some good and some bad news.
- First place with 5,700 points – Jayendri (Jai) and the unit he has been leading during the Ramadan period.
- Second place to M Rozali and his TPCU with 2,675 points most secured in the last patrol where an investigation in the Hutan Lindung Batang Hari area of Solok Selatan to north-east of KSNP resulted in destruction of 7 active tiger snares.
- Third prize goes to Seven X and his team in Bengkulu with a highly respectable 1,480 points but the team were devastated by the discovery of the remains of a tiger caught by a poacher’s snare and skinned and dismembered on the spot about 10 days before the end of the competition.
The points relate not to individual snares but purpose/type of snare (which must be active – points are not accorded to snares confiscated from a poachers’ camp etc)..so that an active tiger snare using steel cable etc is graded at 500 points, prey species (sambar deer etc) at 50 points with small species such as pheasant/mouse deer etc at 10.
A total of nine active tiger snares were detected and destroyed in two sites in addition to all the other smaller snares and four tigers were seen by TPCU patrols!
Results suggest that hunters are now actively avoiding traditional seasonal poaching hotspots where TPCU patrols have focused in recent years.
According to FFI Programme Manager Debbie Martyr “feet on the ground, eyes in the forest, patrols are an active deterrent to forest and species crime and sustained effort in the field reduces threats to tigers and to biodiversity in general!” The teams are all on a well earned rest after celebrating Idul Fitri at the end of Ramadan.