Currently a funding is sought to cover cost of an existing informer network on tiger poaching, facilitation of prosecuting and conviction of poachers within the Indonesian law through media awareness and governmental briefing, and education of local government institution about existing conservation laws.
The 30,000 km2 Tesso Nilo Conservation Landscape includes Bukit Tigapuluh National Park (BTPNP), Bukit Batabuh Protection Forest, Rimbang Baling Game Reserve, Tesso Nilo forest complex, and the Kerumutan Game Reserve. These five protected areas cover more than 6000 km2, containing one the largest remaining blocks of lowland rain forest in Sumatra. This area holds the highest vascular plant diversity of any tropical lowland forest known to science. The protected areas cover peat swamp, lowland rain forest and montane forest ecosystems of Sumatra. Forested corridors connecting the protected area are under severe pressure of illegal logging and conversion to palm oil and Acacia plantations.
The tiger population in this area seems to be under tremendous poaching pressure. WWF informer networks and trade monitors indicate that 68 Sumatran Tigers may have been killed in this landscape between 1998 and 2001 . Currently, the only tiger-oriented conservation project in the landscape is in Bukit Tigapuluh National Park. In 2000, WWF assisted the park management to form three anti-poaching units, and is currently coordinating the Alliance of Indonesian NGOs to advocate the prosecution of tiger poachers (collaborating with WCS, WARSI, and others). First successes of this project can be seen in the arrest of a poacher by one anti-poaching unit in cooperation with local police in October 2001. The poacher was brought to court in March 2002 despite repeated threats of family and local voices to kill the case. He was convicted in May 2002 with help of media attention and the NGO alliance work. Discouraging poaching by successful conviction of poachers in court is a major objective of this project. The goal is to repeat the initial success story by outlining an action strategy that helps to reach a conviction once poachers have been arrested.
Specific objectives include:
- Reducing tiger poaching through the operation of 5 anti-poaching units in Bukit Tigapuluh National Park.
- Maintain existing informer network to identify and arrest poachers and tiger part traders.
- Improve the conviction rate of arrested poachers and traders in cooperation with the NGO Alliance by designing and refining a strategy checklist.
- Develop a strategy how the illegal logging surveillance teams under the ""Forest Crime"" module can integrate information on tiger poaching.
- Contribute to the support of awareness building to tiger conservation among the communities and advocacy for retention of the forests.