Recovering Sumatran Tigers: Strengthening Enforcement Effectiveness to Create a Forest Safe Haven

Timeframe:  2020 - 2023
Country/Region:  Sumatra, Indonesia
Partner:  Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Covering more than 2.5 million ha, the Leuser Ecosystem is one of Southeast Asia’s largest contiguous patches of primary rainforest. The ecosystem is the last place on Earth where tiger, orangutan, rhino and elephant still co-occur, unfortunately making this landscape a target for poachers. In addition, the Leuser Ecosystem is threatened by illegal logging, forest conversion to oil palm plantations and smallholder farmland encroachment usually prevailing at the more accessible and lower elevation forest edge, which is also preferred wildlife habitat.

The goal of our partner WCS is to increase protection across the entire Leuser Ecosystem and intensively work to recover the resident Sumatran tiger population in a specific patch of 865’800 ha of rainforest in the western portion of the landscape. The project’s specific objectives are the following:

  • Significantly increase the capacity of law enforcement and justice sector authorities to investigate and prevent tiger poaching and trafficking;
  • Reduce principal tiger threats (illegal forest clearance and poaching) by >50% and ensure that no tigers are killed in retaliation for conflict incidents;
  • Dismantle >50% of the tiger trafficking criminal network.