Sumatra Wildlife and Conservation News

Indonesian Tiger Who Survived Poisoning Returns To Zoo Home

Two-year-old Ayu, a young Sumatran tiger, sole survivor of the recent incident of poisoning, returned to her caged-in area at the Taman Rimbo Zoo in Jambi, after a week. The investigation is still being carried on to find the culprits of the incident which took place on 17 August and involved strychnine, a chemical which is highly controlled in the country. The zoo visitors’ were relieved as the young tiger returned to her place. Although Ayu’s body is still thin, now she can eat, drink, and walking around in her cage.

According to the head of the Jambi Natural Resources Conservation Agency, Nurazman, now the zoo has only two Sumatran tigers left, Ayu, and her mom. There are no more loins at the zoo, said. The zoo authorities have increased the security of tigers, and now plans are to install cameras around the tiger-cage.

The environmental group WWF says that fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers exist today, down from about 1,000 in the late 1970s. Details at:

Palm Oil Industry Key Culprit Behind Deforestation, Haze In Indonesia

In the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Greenpeace International said that the palm oil industry is destroying Indonesia’s forests. In “Certifying Destruction”, Greenpeace’ investigation paper, they highlighted the failure of the sustainable palm oil and certification body in halting deforestation. The report challenged that RSPO standards are severely lacking, resulting in forests destruction, contributing to more greenhouse gas emissions, human rights violations, loss of endangered species, and the yearly regional haze. Greenpeace calls for the industry to take action against deforestation.

Sumatra smoke haze over Seblat

Sumatra smoke haze over Seblat

Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace International’s head for the Indonesia Forest Campaign, said that they want companies to stop deforestation. Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry maps the loss of 1.24 million hectares of forest from 2009 to 2011. A major part of which is linked to the up fall of Palm oil concessions. Assumingly, the fresh fruit bunch (FFB) or palm oil products sourced from the third-party suppliers have been produced through illegal land clearing. The report also showed three different supply systems of RSPO supply chain, namely; segregated supply, mass balance, and book and claim. 250 palm oil consumer companies have reported that hopefully by 2015, their entire palm oil purchases would surely be originated from responsible and sustainable sources However, RSPO cannot handle it alone. Greenpeace also put forth some recommendations and solutions for RSPO to improve its standards. Read more at:

palm plantation Sumatra

palm plantation Sumatra


Take It Back

The management of an environmental NGO in North Sumatra, Care for Indonesia’s Environment, along with some activists brought the 2011 Kalpataru environmental award to a public rally in front of the state palace on Tuesday. The rally protested against the central government’s idle stance on deforestation surrounding Toba Lake, North Sumatra. See details at:


At loggerheads: cull of the wild in Sumatra

The uniqueness of Sumatra Island, the only place on earth where orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses are found together, is at risk. Clearing habitats for plantations and illegal logging are threatening the survival of animal species. Palm oil trees are gradually replacing animal habitats. The animals are not safe even in National Parks, as they often get strayed into plantations and gardens of villagers while in search of food. Tangkahan, an animal shelter in Sumatra which is run by The Conservation Response Unit (CRU), is sheltering seven elephants and is undoubtedly the main attraction for tourists in Sumatra. Due to the increasing pollution, development and noise in the riverside town, some of the orangutans are now exhibiting signs of dangerous aggression.

However, the local people are of the view that eco-tourism can never out-compete the $30,000 per hectare that palm oil earns the Indonesian economy. They don’t have the realization that how important wildlife is, to the Indonesian economy, “but It’s hard to convince Indonesian people that tourism can bring money”, Says Dinan, a local tourist guide. Lack of donor funding, untrained guides, the transition from eco-tourism to mass tourism, deforestation and environmental degradation, mismanagement of natural resources, unavailability of updated statistics, and a rapid growth of palm-oil industry are the factors threatening the existence and survival of wild-life species. The only way eco-tourism can work to save the forests is that the animals have to out-value the palm oil.” Read more at:

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