Jakarta, Indonesia Camera traps deep in the Sumatran jungle have captured first-time images of a rare female tiger and her cubs, giving researchers unique insight into the elusive tiger's behaviour.
After a month in operation, specially designed video cameras installed by WWF-Indonesia's researchers seeking to record tigers in the Sumatran jungle caught the mother tiger and her cubs on film as they stopped to sniff and check out the camera trap.
There are as few as 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild and they are under relentless pressure from poaching and clearing of their habitat. After five years of studying tigers using wildlife-activated camera traps set up in the forest, these are the first images of a tiger with offspring.
"We are very concerned though, because the territory of this tigress and its cubs is being rapidly cleared by two global paper companies, palm oil plantations, encroachers, and illegal loggers. Will the cubs survive to adulthood in this environment?" said Karmila Parakkasi, the leader of WWF-Indonesia's Sumatran tiger research team.
The discovery comes as WWF prepares to launch a campaign on 14 Feb. 2010, to coincide with the start of the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese calendar.
The year-long, Tx2: Double or Nothing campaign aims to raise the bar for tiger conservation by securing high-level political commitment at a Heads of State Tiger Summit in September in Vladivostok, Russia to be hosted by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and supported by WWF and other partners of the Global Tiger Initiative, including the World Bank.
"We want to change the course of tiger conservation," said Mike Baltzer, leader of WWF's global Tiger Initiative. "It's not just about saving the tiger from extinction, but about doubling their number by 2022."
With wild tiger numbers as low as 3,200, and a systematic attempt underway to wipe them out of the forests in Asia, more must be done to ens
|Contact: Desmarita Murni|
World Wildlife Fund