Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sumatran 'tiger map' reveals tiger population higher than expected

Date:
December 6, 2010
Source:
Wiley - Blackwell
Summary:
Scientists have created the highest resolution map of Sumatran tiger distribution ever produced, revealing that the island now hosts the second largest tiger population on earth.

Tigers are able to live in a wide range of habitats. A male tiger photographed by a camera trap in montane forest habitat within the Leuser Ecosystem, North Sumatra Province, Sumatra. In this region, tiger signs were discovered at up to 3.200m asl by WCS survey teams.
Credit: PHKA/WCS/LIF/Panthera

Scientists have created the highest resolution map of Sumatran tiger distribution ever produced, revealing that the island now hosts the second largest tiger population on earth. The research, carried out with the Wildlife Conservation Society's Indonesia Program and Forum HarimauKita, will be published in a special issue of Integrative Zoology, on tiger conservation and research methodologies.

Hariyo T. Wibisono and Wulan Pusparini conducted a questionnaire-based survey across the island to identify the status of Sumatran tiger distribution. They found that tigers still occupy a large majority of the remaining available habitat in Sumatra. Of the 144,160 square kilometers (55,660 sq mi) of remaining potential habitat, tigers are present in over 97% (140,226 sq km; 55,141 sq mi). However, only 29% of the habitat found to contain tigers is protected.

"These findings imply that Sumatran tiger population might be much larger than we believed, and could potentially be the second largest tiger population in the world after India," said Wibisono.

The survey also revealed that tigers occupy a great diversity of ecosystems. Tigers were found from 0 meters above sea level in coastal lowland forests, to 3200 meters (10,500 feet) above sea level in high mountain forests and in every eco-region in between.

"There is a need for further scientific population assessment," said Wibisono, "but if the population is indeed as large as this new survey suggests then real actions and more support from tiger experts and the international community should be mobilized in the conservation of Sumatran tigers."

Based on their findings, the scientists recommend that at least five habitats should be reassessed as Tiger Conservation Landscapes (TCLs). A TCL is an area where there is sufficient habitat for at least five tigers and in which tigers have been confirmed to be present in the last 10 years.

These habitats include: 1.) Leuser Ecosystem which contains lowland to montane habitat in the northwest, 2.) Berbak-Sembilang containing lowland peat swamps and coastal habitat in southeast, 3.) Ulu Masen Ecosystem containing lowland to montane habitat in northwest, 4.) Batang Gadis containing lowland to lower montane habitat in central Sumatra, and 5.) Giam Siak Kecil in the central part of the island.

Mr. Wibisono sought to undertake this survey because he believed, based on his extensive experience working on the ground in Sumatra, that previous studies underestimated tiger population distribution. He and his colleague's findings verify his hunch and demonstrate that tigers are present at an island-wide scale in Sumatra.

The world tiger population has declined by 50% since 1998, and only an estimated 3,200-3,600 remain in the wild. The presence of tigers over a wide area of habitat in Sumatra is one of the few bright spots in the current state of wild tigers, but more protection is needed to ensure a viable future for this magnificent animal.

"Although tigers are clearly in peril, I am encouraged by the historic commitments made at the recent global tiger summit to increase the number of tigers worldwide," said Zhibin Zhang, editor-in-chief of Integrative Zoology. "At the end of November, the International Tiger Conservation Forum was held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The governments of the 13 tiger range countries agreed to double tiger numbers by 2022."

"By publishing this special issue on tiger conservation and research methodologies we hope to contribute to the efforts by governments, scientists and conservationists to brink tigers back from the brink."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley - Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hariyo T. Wibisono, Wulan Pusparini. Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae): A review of conservation status. Integrative Zoology, 2010; 5 (4): 313 DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-4877.2010.00219.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley - Blackwell. "Sumatran 'tiger map' reveals tiger population higher than expected." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101206093219.htm>.
Wiley - Blackwell. (2010, December 6). Sumatran 'tiger map' reveals tiger population higher than expected. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101206093219.htm
Wiley - Blackwell. "Sumatran 'tiger map' reveals tiger population higher than expected." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101206093219.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins