Success: latest report from Kerinci Seblat

Posted on Aug 29, 2017 in News | 0 comments

Projects receiving grants from 21st Century Tiger are expected to produce two reports over the year. The interim report shows whether progress is being made against the objectives laid out in the proposal of work. The success of a project can then be monitored and measured.

Kerinci Seblat National Park TPCU on patrol

One such report we received this week is from the FFI coordinator of the Kerinci Seblat Tiger Protection and Conservation project in Sumatra. It shows just how much the Kerinci TPCUs have achieved in the first six months of the year. The units conducted 62 forest patrols, each lasting 5-7 days, walking the difficult terrain through mountains and valleys, in the park and its buffer zone. 

Importantly over these patrols, the teams recorded only eight active tiger snares compared to 32 for the same period in 2016 while still encountering evidence of 53 tigers. 

Kerinci Seblat National Park rangers display evidence

Ten poachers or traders were arrested during this time as a result of wildlife crime investigations. Of these, three have already been sentenced to jail time, one absconded from captivity and the remaining are still in the judicial process. These intelligence-led investigations were conducted in park-edge districts of the four provinces and three provincial capitals.  

21st Century Tiger congratulates these teams and their colleagues in the local police departments for this amazing persistence.

However, while direct threat to tiger and tiger prey species declined, there are factors that help us keep this in perspective. 

  • The Kerinci Seblat National Park covers more than 1.38 million hectares.  The six TPCUs are able to patrol across 400,000 hectares, leaving a large proportion of the Park unpatrolled. We know that over the past few months four tigers have lost their lives to poachers.
  •  The units have recorded serious threat to tiger habitat, even in the core area, from illegal forest conversion by smallholders. This occurred for coffee in highland areas of the park and, in the west and south-west of the national park, for palm oil.  

Sadly, government cuts have resulted in a moratorium on civil service recruitment. There are now fewer than 60 rangers, more than half approaching retirement age, assigned to a national park covering more than 5300 square miles. A recent reorganisation of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry has left the national parks in Indonesia with no routine budget with which to conduct law enforcement responses to forest crime.  This results in many of these instances of encroachment going unchallenged.

You can read more about this project here 

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