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Camera traps capture tiger bonanza in Sumatra forest slated for logging

Photo from a remote camera trap set up by WWF and the Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation of Indonesian Forestry Ministry (PHKA) in Bukit Tigapuluh National park, on Sumatra.

Photo from a remote camera trap set up by WWF and the Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation of Indonesian Forestry Ministry (PHKA) in Bukit Tigapuluh National park on Sumatra.

Camera traps set in an area of forest slated for logging for paper production captured photos of a dozen critically endangered Sumatran tigers, reports the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).

The images include a video of a mother playing with cubs and six individual tigers.

“Our team was thrilled to discover 47 tiger images in our camera traps, from which we identified six unique individuals,” said Karmila Parakkasi, who leads WWF’s tiger research team in Sumatra, in a statement. “That was the highest number of tigers and tiger images obtained in the first month of sampling we’ve ever experienced. And then the results from the second month were even more impressive—not just one tiger family but two, with another six tigers.”

Sumatran tigers in the wild

Sumatran tigers in the wild. Photos taken by camera trap and courtesy of WWF.

WWF says the timber harvested by Barito Pacific will go to a nearby pulp mill run by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a paper giant that is under fire from environmentalists for continuing to source timber from natural forests despite a pledge to phase out conversion of such forests by 2007. However APP denies it will use wood from the area.

Sumatran tigers are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List due to habitat destruction, loss of prey, and hunting. WWF says the population has fallen from more than 1,000 in the 1970s to less than 400 today. The two other tiger sub-species found in Indonesia have already gone extinct: the Bali tiger and Java tiger.

Sumatran Tigers on Camera Trap from WWF on Vimeo.


This article original erroneously linked Barito Timber Pacific’s supplier to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). We regret the error.

The original text:
    The tiger-rich forest — located in Bukit Tigapuluh forest in Central Sumatra’s Riau and Jambi provinces — is part of a concession controlled by a subsidiary of Barito Timber Pacific, a company that supplies wood-pulp to paper maker Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). APP is under fire from environmentalists for continuing to source timber from natural forests despite a pledge to phase out conversion of such forests by 2007. The paper products brand is running an aggressive marketing campaign to cast itself as a responsible operator, although a number of its claims on its environmental record are disputed. As part of the campaign, earlier this year APP launched what it terms a “tiger conservation group” to move tigers from its concession areas to a protected forest area that has an existing tiger population. Tiger researchers and conservation groups contacted by in February this year were unsure what to make of the initiative.

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