Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation, Sumatra

Tiger Conservation in Tambling

Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation (TWNC), is a 450km2 privately managed concession situated within a stunning peninsula forming the southern tip of the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP) in Sumatra, Indonesia. There, Panthera is working in partnership with TWNC and its founder, Mr. Tomy Winata, to implement one of the newest and what has recently been revealed to be one of the most promising projects within Panthera’s Tigers Forever program. The TWNC landscape in southwestern Sumatra encompasses a private concession that has been identified as critical to the protection of core tiger populations, and their connectivity to each other, throughout the larger BBSNP landscape – an area extending 3,568 km2 which represents one of the largest contiguous protected areas in Sumatra.

Mr. Tomy Winata and TWNC have been active in conserving wildlife and the wild habitats of southern Sumatra since 1996. While the tigers of Tambling were previously subjected to high levels of poaching and habitat loss, the conservation efforts of Mr. Tomy Winata and TWNC are allowing this local tiger population to rebound. Mr. Tomy Winata’s use of well-trained law enforcement patrols which carry out strict protection efforts, aloing with their focus on the maintenance of lowland tiger habitat and prey populations, has allowed Tambling to emerge as a key site for tigers in Sumatra and across their range.

Panthera’s tiger conservation efforts in Tambling began in 2012 with the filming of the BBC Natural World documentary, Tiger Island, which followed Panthera’s CEO, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, as he assessed the status of tiger conservation initiatives in TWNC. Following the filming of Tiger Island, Mr. Tomy Winata, in collaboration with Panthera, launched an extensive camera trap study in TWNC in 2012 to scientifically capture baseline data on the density of tigers in the area in order to monitor the population and ensure that conservation efforts in the area are having the needed impact and increasing tiger numbers. This is a core underpinning of Panthera’s Tigers Forever program and our ultimate metric of success.

A wild tiger cub walks past a camera trap - Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation, Sumatra 2013

Revealed in Panthera’s press release issued on the third annual International Tiger Day, the study’s preliminary camera trap data has already indicated an unexpected density of six tigers per 100km2 in the southern region of TWNC. This estimate is nearly double the highest recorded for the island to date. These findings, including camera trap images of tiger cubs, have identified Tambling, which is part of the globally significant BBSNP, as a beacon of hope for the last remaining 400-500 wild Sumatran tigers.

Today, Panthera’s wild cat scientist and post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Robert Pickles, is working with TWNC to extend this population density analysis to the northern region of TWNC and implement extensive habitat analyses to determine the vitality of Tambling’s ecosystem. Expanding the reach and efficacy of the Tambling tiger conservation project, the field teams will soon implement a new monitoring software known as SMART to track evidence of illegal activities and better evaluate and target law enforcement efforts. Additional activities include assisting local authorities with park boundary delineations and determining additional threats and their solutions, besides poaching, to tigers, their prey, and their habitat.

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Watch the Tiger Island trailer

Watch the Tigers of Tambling Video

Panthera's Tiger Conservation Programs

Save the Tiger Fund

The STF-Panthera Partnership

Tigers Forever

Ensuring Tigers Live in the Wild Forever