In addition to the tigress and cubs' footage, the video camera also captured images of a male Sumatran tiger and its prey, wild boar and deer, as well as many other species such as tapirs, macaques, porcupines and civets.
Infrared-triggered camera traps, which are activated upon sensing body heat in their path, have become an important tool to identify which areas of the forest are used by tigers, and to identify individual animals to monitor the population. WWF has operated dozens of cameras throughout the central Sumatran province of Riau.
Parakkasi and her team first captured still images of the tigress and its cub in July 2009 through still camera traps. The photos were, however, not very clear.
"We were not so sure how many cubs there were," she said.
Video camera traps were then installed in September at the same location to clarify the initial findings.
WWF's tiger research team set up four of the video camera traps in known tiger routes in a forested "wildlife corridor" that allows animals to move between two protected areas in central Sumatra Rimbang Baling Wildlife Reserve in Riau and Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in both Riau and Jambi provinces.
"When these cubs are old enough to leave their mother, which will be soon, they will have to find their own territory," said Ian Kosasih, WWF-Indonesia's Forest Programme Director. "Where will they go? As tiger habitat shrunk with so much of the surrounding area having been cleared, the tigers will have a very hard time avoiding encounters with people. That will then be very dangerous for everyone involved."
"With this clear scientific evidence of tiger presence, WWF calls for formal establishment of the area between Rimbang Baling and Bukit Tigapuluh forests as a protected wildlife corridor," Kosasih said.
|Contact: Desmarita Murni|
World Wildlife Fund