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Tiger land destroyed – on camera

12 October 2010


We’re always talking about how illegal forest destruction endangers tigers – and now you can see it happening for yourselves. Newly released video footage from a ‘camera trap’ in a protected forest in Sumatra makes the tigers’ plight alarmingly clear.

A video camera trap has captured footage that graphically shows the clash between illegal forest developments and wild tigers in Indonesia.

The three short clips compiled here were filmed earlier this year in Indonesia’s Riau Province and are released for the first time today. The first clip shows a male Sumatran tiger sniffing at the automated camera we set up with our partners in the forests of Bukit Betabuh. This is a protected area, where it’s illegal to clear trees or excavate land.

The second clip, filmed just a week later in the exact same location, shows a bulldozer clearing trees – most likely for an illegal palm oil plantation, a serious problem in Indonesia. The third clip, the following day, records a tiger walking through the now-devastated landscape.

This shows exactly the kind of illegal destruction that reduces vital habitat and pushes tigers into conflict with local people – with disastrous consequences all round.

Land-clearing for palm oil plantations have been going on for some time in this area. Workers have said they frequently find tiger tracks in palm oil plantations. The Indonesian Ministry of Forestry is investigating the evidence caught on our video and will take strong action to enforce the law.

We need your support to help increase patrols and to tackle illegal activity.

How we’re helping protect tigers
There are as few as 400 Sumatran tigers left in Indonesia. On top of habitat loss, the other big issue is illegal poaching and trading of tiger skins and body parts. In March this year our Tiger Patrol Unit and Riau’s Nature Conservation Agency confiscated more than 110 tiger snares in Bukit Betabuh alone.

We’ve been installing video camera traps in Bukit Betabuh since mid-2009, to study tiger distribution, habits and threats. These cameras have clearly shown this is an important habitat for the Sumatran tiger, functioning as a wildlife corridor connecting Rimbang Baling Wildlife Reserve and Bukit Tigapuluh National Park.

We’re also encouraging provincial and district level government, businesses and communities to support protection for this landscape. And it’s vital that global palm oil buyers and users don’t source material from farmers or producers who develop their plantations illegally – that’s why we back sustainably produced palm oil.

Indonesia has already committed to an Action Plan for the Sumatran Tiger, and of course it’s one of the 13 tiger range countries hoping to agree the plans to double wild tiger populations by 2022 at the Tiger Summit in Russia this November.

You can…
Find out how you can help us protect tigers
Sign our petition to take to the Tiger Summit
Adopt a tiger


Posted by Lucy Simpson on 13/11/10 14:25
It is also important to understand the needs of the local communities that want to live the same prosperous, convenient and technology-filled lives that we lead in our developed country, and to find realistic solutions that benefit every aspect of the ecosystem, human and non-human.
Posted by Lucy Simpson on 13/11/10 14:25
Having seen the conservation work of the WWF in Sumatra and across South East Asia, I know that we can make a difference by safe-guarding tracts of rainforest and improving understanding and education in the local areas, but it is costly in both money and time.
Posted by Lucy Simpson on 13/11/10 14:21
We need to make it understood that tigers are an apex predator and so removing them will negatively affect the balance in the rest of their ecosystem. It is terrifying to see how quickly we can destroy vital resources for quick monetary gain, and make irreparable damage.
Posted by Elaine on 12/11/10 17:45
When is it ever going to stop ?????
Posted by Jennifer Young on 11/11/10 13:04
Like many thousands of others i love the tigers, and can't stand what is happening to theit habitat. Have theser people been found and if so what has happened to them. They should be made to replant trees etc in that area, but i suppose they will get away with it and nothing willbe done.
Posted by carol on 11/11/10 10:16
all lives deserve the chance to live and should be respected. when god created the world and all beings, he didn't make them for the reason to be killed. so people, please stop harming the animals
Posted by Shubashnee on 10/11/10 20:15
will we learn only when its too LATE???
Posted by William Ineson on 10/11/10 18:35
Too many people.......and too many GREEDY people in control...........But then positions of power always attract the avaricious and selfish.................
Posted by Furhunter on 29/10/10 03:53
Man will be the master of his own demise. I cry reading some of this stuff. What the F*** are we doing? More importantly why do more people not care? Where is this heading? Maybe not in my lifetime, but the end will come, then what?
The humans die out & nature recovers the planet... there's a plan
Posted by Samuel M on 26/10/10 22:40
Too many people are pushing the natural world to the brink. There simply isn't space for our population, either we drastically curb population growth to allow for a sustainable world or mother nature will do it for us. Personally I don't fancy our chances.
Posted by Marc T on 20/10/10 21:26
As humans, I believe we ought to be benelovent stewards of this planet. This is very different than humans as "rulers" having "dominion" over the rest of life on Earth, as is often caricatured by those who see Man as a greedy species hell bent on destroying the planet around him.
Posted by Maureen Kightley on 15/10/10 04:59
Man thinks he rules the land and all the creatures within it but oneday nature will decide it has had enough of being abused and we will all be paying for it sooner or later.
Posted by liz findlay on 14/10/10 22:30
WHY must human beings destroy animals just because they can and have a voice,tigers are beautiful and they are entitled to their life just as we are,humans will not be happy until we are the only species left in this world,"LIVE AND LET LIVE". thank you Liz Findlay
Posted by morgan on 14/10/10 19:33
despite the appalling footage, i'm very glad this clip has gone viral and bubbled up to garner national attention. other than raising awareness about this clip and rallying donations, what more can we do to take action?
Posted by suzanne on 14/10/10 13:06
i don't see why it is so hard to find the people who did this bulldozers aren't exactly easy to hide, nor i should think are a whole team of people planting the illegal palm oil plantations ....these people should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of international law
Posted by Sergio on 14/10/10 10:51
I think it is so unfair how humans think they have more rights than the rest of the animals. This is their world too, and they deserve to live here as well. Thank you WWF for all your help protecting our planet!
Posted by josh deakin on 13/10/10 14:28
i think it is fantastique how the tiger defends its habitat
and the way it wants to live, but therfor there behavyer us humans are destroing there homes and it is also killiong us and it halps us to bee alive
Two tigers play fighting

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