Washington Laws protecting the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger have failed to prevent tiger body parts being openly sold in Indonesia, according to a TRAFFIC report launched today.
Tiger body parts, including canine teeth, claws, skin pieces, whiskers and bones, were on sale in 10 percent of the 326 retail outlets surveyed during 2006 in 28 cities and towns across Sumatra. Outlets included goldsmiths, souvenir and traditional Chinese medicine shops, and shops selling antique and precious stones.
The survey conservatively estimates that 23 tigers were killed to supply the products seen, based on the number of canine teeth on sale.
This is down from an estimate of 52 killed per year in 19992002, said Julia Ng, program officer with TRAFFIC Southeast Asia and lead author on The Tiger Trade Revisited in Sumatra, Indonesia. Sadly, the decline in availability appears to be due to the dwindling number of tigers left in the wild.
All of TRAFFICs surveys have indicated that Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, and Pancur Batu, a smaller town situated about nine miles away, are the main hubs for the trade of tiger parts.
Despite TRAFFIC providing authorities with details of traders involved it is not clear whether any serious enforcement action has been taken, apart from awareness-raising activities.
Because of poor enforcement the Sumatran tiger is slipping through our fingers, said Leigh Henry, program officer for TRAFFIC North America. There are only about 400 Sumatran tigers left and such a small population cant sustain this level of poaching. If enforcement and political will are not bolstered the Sumatran tiger will be wiped out just as the Javan and Bali tigers were.
The report recommends that resources and efforts should concentrate on effective enforcement to combat the trade by arresting dealers and suppliers. Trade hotspots should be continually monitored and all intelligence be pas
|Contact: Kathleen Sullivan|
World Wildlife Fund