Unintended target: West Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) officers load a dead Tiger onto a truck for burial in the provincial capital of Padang, Monday. The adult 2 meter-long protected Sumatran Tiger was found dead on Saturday in a trap that local farmers set up for Wild Boars. Antara/BKSDA Sumbar
Indonesia: Sumatran Tiger found dead in wire trap
By Syofiardi Bachyul Jb, 5th May 2015;
A Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) has been found dead in a wire trap laid by a farmer in Pelangai Gadang village, Ranah Pesisir district, Pesisir Selatan regency, West Sumatra.
West Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) Region II section head Surajiwa said the farmer, named Darwin, 55, reported to the local police that a Tiger had been caught in his trap on May 2. The police then reported it to the BKSDA.
“Our officers inspected the location and found the Tiger already dead. We estimate it was trapped for two days. We have brought its carcass to Padang to be buried this morning,” Surajiwa told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
The female Tiger was estimated to be around 10-years-old. It died of wounds to its head and body. The location of the trap was around 2 kilometers from a village and 10 km from the Kerinci Seblat National Park (TNKS). The farmer had placed the trap for Wild Boars (Sus spp.) that often destroyed his chili and rubber farm.
“Based on information, he unintentionally trapped the animal, but we will send a joint team to the location again to further investigate the cause of death,” said Surajiwa.
The BKSDA has made efforts to secure the location and prevent the same incident from happening because based on a report from residents, an adult male Tiger and a Tiger cub were also roaming in the area. The Tigers have killed people’s livestock on several occasions.
TNKS Tiger protection and conservation field manager Dian Risdianto said although the dead Tiger was found as far as 10 km away, it would likely be from the TNKS.
According to Dian, the Tiger population was dwindling because of Tigers being trapped by poachers and farmers who placed traps. The current Tiger population in TNKS, spanning 1.37 million hectares, is 166.
“This is the latest data from the 2015 survey, by setting up cameras in various locations,” Dian told the Post on Monday.
In 2007, the Sumatran Tiger population across Sumatra was estimated at between 400 and 500.
Dian said the highest risks faced by the Tigers were traps, so TNKS Tiger protection and conservation conducted routine patrols to remove them. Each year, up to 40 active and inactive Tiger traps are found in the TNKS.
In the past five years, she added, three Tigers had been found dead by traps laid by farmers around TNKS, based on data from Pesisir Selatan, while four others were saved after being ensnared.
“We were able to arrest two poachers in Kerinci regency this year and another three in Sarolangun in February. We also seized a complete Tiger pelt and its bones,” said Dian.
She added that the Tigers were also threatened by habitat encroachment due to illegal logging and conversion as well as human-animal conflicts.
“With routine patrols, the Tiger population in TNKS could rise to 10 percent. However, members of the community must help by being careful with their traps and coordinating with the BKSDA and TNKS,” said Dian.