The Sumatran Tiger islisted as CriticalyEndangered, (thehighest category of threat),on the IUCN
2003 Red List of Threatened Animals (Anon., 2003a). Since the early 1990s, a continued and
leading threatfacedby theSumatranTiger is poachingfortheir bones,whichare used in a varietyof
traditional Asianmedicines. Indonesia was singled outin South Korean Customsimport records as
being a major supplier of tiger bone (1975-1992). During the 1990s, the international conservation
community andthePartiesto the Conventionon International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora (CITES) greatly increased eforts toconserve wild tiger populations and eliminate
domestic markets for tiger bone throughout the world, especialy in Asian countries. A review of
progres by TRAFFIC (Nowel, 2000) found that significant progres had ben made. However,
Sumatra was singled out as a tiger range area where trade in tiger bone and other tiger products
continued in a fairly open manner. TRAFFIC thus organized a comprehensive survey of tiger
poaching and trade in Sumatra to document the curent extent of the problem and provide the
necesary informationto management and enforcement authorities toact upon.
Despite Sumatran Tigers being fuly protected by law, with tough provisions for jail time and step
fines, as wel as increased efort in tiger conservation and building law enforcement and anti-
poachingcapacity,this survey demonstrates the existence of a substantial market fortiger parts and
products inSumatra.Surveyswerecariedout in aleight provincesof Sumatrain 2002, with a total
of 24 townsand citiesbeingsurveyed, recording 484 observations from shops and dealer sources in
2002. Onlyseventowns inthissurvey did nothave tiger parts for sale (29%oftowns). In the other
17towns a totalof117shops and dealers(25% of thosesurveyed)werefoundtohave tiger parts for
sale. Atotal of 453 retail shops were surveyed and 86 (19%) were observed to have tiger parts for
sale, primarily canines and claws. Most trade inskins and bones wascaried on ina covertmanner
by a variety of dealers. Thirty-one dealer contacts were made with information on the sale of tiger
Most Sumatran tigers were found to be kiledby profesionalor semi-profesional hunters operating
individualy or in smal groups. They were also found to be kiled primarily with inexpensive and
simple-to-make wire cable leg-hold snares. Sometimes the traps which catch and kil Sumatran
Tigers were sometimes intended to catch other species, and the tiger was kiled by accident.
Information onthis type of tigerkilingfrom investigators suggests thatat least four tigersper year
arekiled as“incidentalkilings”. Althoughnot thetargetspecies, thetiger’sparts frequentlyentered
Human-tiger conflict has long been a serious problem in Sumatra, compared to other parts of the
tiger’s global range. Many people have been kiled orwounded by tigers; tigers frequently prey on
livestock. As a result, vilagers often sek to have problem tigers kiled, although they are
encouraged to contact the Forestry department to try to have the problem animal live-trapped and
removed from the area.
Althoughthenumbers of tigers lost through incidental kilings or as a result of human-tiger conflict
are significant, most tigers in Sumatra are apparently kiled deliberately for commercial gain. Our
findings show that tiger poaching has not declined significantly over the past decade, despite
greatly increased conservation eforts and global measures to curtail tiger bone trade.Previously it
wasthoughtthat tigers were being poached primarilyon the edgesofforestsin regions near vilages
where they come into conflict with people. However, in TRAFFIC’s investigation, poachers and
undercover investigators stated that tigers are hunteddep withinnationalparks.
Thesurvey alsosuggestedtheposibility thattigerbonetrade inSumatrahasdeclined.TRAFFIC’s
surveys found les tiger bone available than in previous surveys from 1995 (Plowden and Bowles,
1997),andalso lowerpricesfor SumatranTiger bone thanhave beenreported inthe past(Tilsonand
of tiger bone trade in the late 1990s (Nowel, 2000): that despite apparent progres in
curtailing markets for tiger bone used in traditional Asian medicines, there is litle evidence to
indicate a major declinein tiger poaching.
Information from traders in Sumatra also indicates that tiger bone and other tiger parts are
reportedly stil smuggled out of Sumatra. Traders report that tiger parts are sold to Korea, Taiwan,
Singapore, Japan, MalaysiaandChina. Singapore and Malaysia may actastransit countriesaswel
asconsumers for tigerparts.
The findings of this report show the structure and extent of the trade, which is esential in guiding
future work, and in highlighting the importance of increased enforcement. Numerous sources
indicatethat alackofpolitical wil at best, and widespreadcoruption atworst, hinders enforcement
oftrade and hunting bans. In the last few years, there have ben intensified eforts to improve law
enforcement and anti-poaching capacity in Sumatra. This report should sound the alarm regarding
the crisis Sumatra’s Tigers curently face, and provide vital information for government and
conservation organizationsto workfrom.
Los of habitat through ilegal logging, and high levels of human-tiger conflict wil continue to
threaten the Sumatran Tiger unles greater efort is made to control timber harvest and land
conversion, and develop efective policies to manage problem tigers and bufer zones around
However,sinceitappears thatthemajority ofSumatranTigersare kiled because ofthevalue oftheir
parts, eliminatingthemarket for tiger parts in Sumatra and other consumercountries shouldlead to
a reduction in tiger poaching. The primary recommendation of this report is that Indonesian
authorities must urgently increaseenforcement eforts and implementation of laws banning trade in
tigerpartsand products or extinction is near forthelast of Indonesia’stigers.
The Tiger Panthera tigris is today an Endangered species (Anon., 2003a), and over the past decade
conservationistshave considered ilegal international tradein Tiger bone for traditional Asian medicines
as the primary force driving Tigers toward extinction. TRAFFIC has led the way in helping the
conservation community understand the scope,volume and workings of ilegal Tiger trade. Kiled for a
Cure: A Review of the Worldwide Trade in Tiger Bone (Mils and Jackson, 1994) was the first
comprehensive documentation of the extent of the trade. This report helped motivate countries,
organizations and individuals around the world to focus on Tiger conservation and shuting down
medicinaltrade in Tigerbone. Progres toward implementation of newtrade controls wasreviewed ina
second TRAFFICreport (Mainka1997). In thelate 1990s, TRAFFICcommisioned surveys aroundthe
world to evaluate markets for Tiger bone and other Tiger parts and products, and this was published as
Far from aCure: The Tiger Trade Revisited (Nowel, 2000). Kiledfor a Cure indicated Indonesia as a
leading global source of Tiger bone from the mid 1970s to the early 1990s, despite this trade being
ilegal andthere being no oficial Indonesian records forit, based on importstatistics from South Korea
(Mils and Jackson, 1994). Far from a Cure found evidence of substantial progres toward eliminating
marketsfor Tigerbone in many countries, but Indonesiawas highlighted as a supplying marketfor Tiger
partsand products where ilegal tradewas stilcaried out relatively openly (Nowel, 2000).
As a next step, TRAFFIC undertook extensive
market surveys in Sumatra to describe and
document curent ilegal Tiger trade. This report
summarizes Sumatran Tiger conservation eforts,
provides background onSumatran Tigertrade,and
then draws together data from TRAFFIC surveys
and a number of other sources to analyze
poaching, the role of Tiger conflict with humans,
and curent ilegal markets for Tiger parts and
edit:Crproducts in Sumatra. The state of Tigers in
ASumatran Tiger in captivity. SumatranSumatran zoos is also examined. The population
Tigers are rapidly disappearing from the wild.
of Sumatran Tigers Panthera tigris sumatrae is
Criticaly Endangered (Anon, 2003a). In the late 1990s it was estimated that there were as few as 400-
500 left in the wild (Seidensticker et al., 1999). By providing the first in-depth examination of ilegal
Tiger trade in Sumatra, thisreport aims to help the Indonesian government andconservation community
to beter enforce hunting and trade bans, and ensure that Sumatran Tigers do not folow in the tracks of
the now-extinct Tigersof Bali and Java.
1.1 Status and Conservation of the Sumatran Tiger
Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, being made up of more than 17,000 islands extending for
4,500kmwestfromSumatratoPapua(formerly Irian Jaya).Withanarea ofapproximately476000km2,
Sumatrais thesecondlargestIndonesianisland aswel asthesixth largestisland in theworld.Politicaly,
the island is divided up into eight provinces, including Aceh, North Sumatra (Sumatra Utara), West
Sumatra (Sumatra Barat),Riau, Jambi, Bengkulu, South Sumatra (Sumatra Selatan), and Lampung (Map
1).Sumatraboastssome ofthe highestlevelsofbiodiversityinthe worldand,with201 species,hasmore
mammals than any other island in Indonesia (Anon., 1994,Whiten et al., 1997).
Map 1. Location ofSumatra inSoutheast Asia region
Sumatra is theonlyIndonesianisland to stilretainawildtiger population.Tigersbecameextincton Bali
and Java in the20thcentury.Tigers werelastpositivelyrecordedfromtheislandofBaliinthelate1930s.
The Bali Barat National Park wasestablished in 1941 intigerhabitatin western Bali, but itis likelythat
tigers in Bali became extinct by the end of World War I or posibly as late as the early 1950s. The
causesofextinctioninclude huntingandlosofforesthabitatand preybase(Nowel,2003a).Tigerswere
formerlywidespreadontheIndonesiaislandofJava,butby1970hadbecomerestricted totheMeru Betiri
Reserve on the eastern south coast. Javan Tigers were last positively recorded during a survey there in
1976. There have ben no confirmed records since then (although Leopards Panthera pardus persist
there, and theirtracks aresometimesmistakenfortiger). The primary causesofthe JavanTiger’s decline
are hunting and los of forest habitat, and its final disappearance from Meru Betiri Reserve is linked to
the absence of suitable large wild cervid prey (Nowel, 2003b). There are no Javan Tiger or Bali Tiger
subspeciesin captivity;these races of tiger have beenlost forever.
The population of Tigers on Sumatra is thus the last remaining Tiger population in Indonesia. Sumatra
became isolated from mainland Asia as an island 6000-12 000 years ago when sea levels rose, but the
island shares much of its fauna with Peninsular Malaysia, including Tigers (but not Leopards). There
have beenthousands of yearsofseparation betwen Sumatran and mainlandAsian Tigers(Seidensticker,
1986). The uniquenes and taxonomic clasification of the Sumatran Tiger is a mater ofdebate among
cat specialists. Sumatran Tigers are often described as smaler than mainland Asian Tigers, with darker
colorationandthickerstripes.However,some researchers havefoundlitle diference betweenSumatran
Tigers and those found on the Asian continent on the basis of morphology (Kitchener, 1999) as wel as
genetics(Wentzeletal.,1999).Onthe other hand,one groupofresearchershasarguedthat theSumatran
Tiger genome is consistently distinctive and warants clasification as a ful species of Tiger, Panthera
sumatrae, separate from the Tiger Panthera tigris of continental Asia (Cracraft et al., 1998). The
consensusandoperatingviewinthe cat conservationcommunityistoclasifytheSumatranTiger asone
of five existing Tiger subspecies, Panthera tigris sumatrae, as first described by the great early 20th
century felid taxonomist, Reginald Pocock (Pocock, 1929).
There are far fewer Sumatran Tigers (Harimau Sumatera in Bahasa Indonesia) alive in the wild today
compared to historical times. In the early 20th century, Dutch colonists often reported Tigers as a
“plague,” so numerous and bold that they would enter the planters’ estate house compounds (Trep,
1973). Borner (1978) estimated that there were 1000 Sumatran Tigers; ten years later, Santiapilai and
Ramono (1985) felt the population should
be “numbered in hundreds rather than
thousands.” But today the Sumatran Tiger
is listed as Criticaly Endangered by theAsia
World Conservation Union, which means
that thespecies is facingan extremelyhighSoutheast
2003c). The most recent atempt to
estimatethe total number ofwild Tigerson
Sumatra was at a 1992 international
conference (Sumatran Tiger Population
and Habitat Viability Analysis). Theedit
general consensus of the workshop wasCr
that “there are probably fewer than 400ASumatran TigerintheMedanZoinNorthSumatra.
Tigers living in six major protected areas
of Sumatra. Another 100 or fewer Tigers
outside of the protected areasareprobably
not going to survive forlong”(Tilson et al., 1994: 2).
Folowing the workshop, the Indonesian government developeda Sumatran Tiger Conservation Strategy
(Ministry of Forestry, 1994). In the late 1990s, the Exxon oil company(now Exxon/Mobil corporation),
which has the Tiger as its logo, established the Save the Tiger Fund, and in recent years it and other
international donors have supported Indonesian eforts to conserve the Sumatran Tiger with significant
investments. New research has updatedestimatesfor some individual populations(seebelow and Table
2), but 400-500 is stil the estimate of the total number of wild Sumatran Tigers in general use by the
IUCN/SSC Cat SpecialistGroup (Seidensticker et al., 1999). For the purposes of apopulation estimate
for the IUCN Red List, which includes only mature breeding individuals, the Cat Specialist Group
estimates the number at approximately fewer than 250, with no single population much larger than 50
maturebreeding individuals(Nowel et al.,2003c).
The Sumatran Tiger occurs from sea level to at least 2,000 m, in both primary and secondary forests
(Trep, 1973, 1978; Grifiths, 1993). The Sumatran Tiger lives in both lowland and montane rainforest
and in freshwater swamp forests throughout Sumatra (Wikramanayake et al., 2002). Unfortunately the
habitat critical toboth Tigersandtheir preyin Sumatra is rapidly vanishing. The approximate forest los
in Sumatra from 1985 to 1997 was 67 000km², most of this being lowland rainforest. However, the
annual rate of forest los has ben increasing acros Indonesia. Country-wide, the deforestation rate in
the 1980s was 8000km²/year. Inthe early1990sthisrate hadincreased to around 12000km2/year.From
about 1996 to the present the rate has almost doubled to more than 20 000km2/year. In Sumatra’s
lowland forests from 1985 to 1997 the average annual forest los was about 2800km2/year
(Wikramanayake et al., 2002). Indonesian forestry oficials themselves say that ilegal logging is
widespread andout of control (Paddock,2004). Therearefew areas withlarge enough tractsoflowland
forestto support Tiger populations.
Wikramanayake et al. (1998) caried out a comprehensive range-wide analysis of Tiger habitat to
identify priority areas for conservation. Their system of Tiger Conservation Units (TCUs) has ben
widely adopted by the conservation community. TCUs in Sumatra are shown in Table 1. Thre large
habitatblocksinSumatra areLevelITCUs, ofglobal Tigerconservation significanceandhaving thebest
probability of long-term persistence of Tiger populations: the areas surounding Kerinci Seblat, Gunung
Leuser, and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Parks.Altogether, Wikramanayakeet al(1998)estimatethat
Sumatra curently contains approximately 130000 km2 of habitat forTigers, of which just42 000 km2,
or one-third, has some form of protectionfrom development and logging.
Table1.Priority conservationareasand estimatedhabitat fortheSumatranTiger(Wikramanayake
et al., 1998)
Tiger Conservation UnitTotal area of unit (km2)Total protectedarea of unit (km2)
Level I: Highestprobability of persistenceofTigerpopulationsover the long term
Bukit Barisan Selatan-Bukit Hitam6,5944,784
Level I:Medium probabilityofpersistence of Tiger populations overthelongterm
Level I: Low probabilityofpersistence of Tiger populations overthelongterm
Four smal areas were identified1,3090
Areas recommendedforimmediate surveyaspotentialsignificant Tigerhabitat
Six national parks in Sumatra ofer the highest level of protection for Tigers (Map 2). Unfortunately,
these areas have largely been isolated from one another through logging and conversion of forest to
plantations and agriculture, leaving litle or no Tiger interchange and gene flow betwen these separate
populations (Tilson et al., 1994). The status of these parks and their Tiger populations is reviewed in
detail below, andsummarized in Table 2.
Map 2: a map of theTCUs,with 6 national parks overlaid.
Courtesy of WWF US
Arecentdevelopment in efortsto protectTigers and stoppoachingin Sumatra’snationalparks has ben
the establishment of anti-poaching teams caled Tiger Protection Units (TPUs), based on the Rhino
Protection Unit (RPU) model championed by the International Rhino Foundation (Anon., 2004). The
teams cary out patrols to deter and detect poaching, folow up with investigations, arests and
prosecution, and also conduct community education and outreach. The teams are typicaly made up of
PHKA Forest oficials, park staf, park police, members of communities bordering the park and
conservationists, and al receive special and intensive training programs. In addition to the newly
established TPUs, there are curently 10 RPUs in Gunung Leuser National Park, six in Bukit Barisan
Selatan National Park, five in Way Kambas National Park, and thre in Kerinci Seblat National Park
Kerinci Seblat National Park was established in 1981 and extends into four provinces: Jambi, West
Sumatra, South Sumatra and Bengkulu. Kerinci Seblat is the largest single protected area in the world
where Tigers ocur (Jackson and Kemf, 1999), covering 14,846 sq km and is the second largest park in
SoutheastAsia.Wikramanayakeetal. (1998) asignedit the topscoreout of al the Tiger Conservation
Unitswithinthe Tiger’srange,making it of leadingglobal significance for Tigerconservation.However,
much of the bufer-zone around the park has ben heavily afected by human activities, includingilegal
logging and conversiontoagriculture (HartanaandMartyr,2001). There aresome 450vilages alongthe
borders of this nationalpark with 1.4 milion people. Certain areas of the park and its bufer-zone have
also beendesignated as ‘Traditional’or ‘Special Use’ zones. The former are areas of forest traditionaly
utilized by local people for the colection of non-timber forest products and vilage timber requirements
butwhichmustremain under forestcoverto maintainwatershedprotection. Special Use zones are areas
converted to agriculture within the national park borders, usualy in areas of long-standing enclaves
(HartanaandMartyr, 2001). Thehabitat within KerinciSeblat hasben splitintotwo mainblocks which
are becoming increasingly fragmented, mainly due to road building (the park has a 1500 km road
network), logging and human encroachment. About 15 000 householdsilegaly farm approximately50
000 ha within the park. Ilegal logging and mining, as wel as conversion of park land to oil palm and
rubber plantationscontinue to eat awayattheremaining forest (Pratje, 1998).
Tigerpopulation:In1992,participants at theSumatranTiger PHVAworkshop estimated the population
ofTigers in KerinciSeblatand suroundingforestareastobe approximately76 animals(FaustandTilson,
1994). However, Hartana and Martyr (2001) consider this an underestimate, based on camera trapping,
field surveysandpatrolsledby Fauna andFloraInternationalIndonesia Programme (FFI-ID)since1995.
They suggest the park has a carying capacity, or potential, of 170 Tigers, based on GIS analysis of
satelite imagery of the area. However, poaching is a serious threat, and they do not estimate the actual
number ofTigers curently inthepark.
Tiger conservation: With reports of a serious rise in Tigerpoaching in KerinciSeblat in the late 1990s,
the Kerinci Seblat Tiger Protection Project was initiated in 2000, a partnership betwen the park
administrationandthe FFI-ID.Two TPUs were established in2002,with a third planned. TheTPUsare
led by KSNP rangers and stafed by members of local forest-edge communities. The units patrol an
average of 12 days per month,and made 69 arests intheir first yearswork (Hartana and Martyr, 2001).
In 2002 they broke up a major Tiger poaching syndicate (FFI-IDpers.comm. to TRAFFIC,2002).
B. TheLeuserEcosystem and the Gunung Leuser National Park
The Leuser Ecosystem, first established in 1995 and expanded in 1998, is a legal entity based on
Presidential Decree No. 33/1998, to be managed for conservation. It was designed to contain viable
populations of al major wildlife species. It covers 25 000 km2 and includes a number of protection
forests and the Gunung Leuser National Park, established in 1980 and approximately 9000 km2 in size.
Much of this land is montane tropical forest, with mountains extending over 3000 meters. Although
Tigers and their prey areles abundantathigherelevations (Grifiths,1993), the largearea of theLeuser
Ecosystemisasignificant and high priorityareafor Tigerconservation (LevelITCU:Wikramanayakeet
al., 1998). Some logging concesions and transmigration areas are found in the Leuser Ecosystem, as
these had already been granted before the Ecosystem was established (van Schaik et al., 2001).
Unfortunately, this important area is under threat by curent rates of ilegal logging and conversion of
forest to plantations and agriculture. An oficial with the Leuser Management Unit (LMU) told the
Indonesian pres in 2003 that some 34 000 ha (340 km2) was being deforested every year (LMU pers.
comm. to TRAFFIC, 2003). In 2003 the military undertook high-profile enforcement actions in the
Gunung Leuser National Park to crack down on ilegal logging. Major road construction is planned in
the Gunung Leuser National Park, known as the Ladia Galaska highway project, which would further
fragment Tiger habitat.
Tiger population: On the basis of camera trapping and extrapolation of densities, Mike Grifiths (1992,
1993) estimated the population of Tigers in Gunung Leuser National Park to be between 10-180 adult
individuals. He felt that this number was “probably les than half of what it was six years previously”
on Grifith’swork(Faust and Tilson, 1994;Grifiths,1992), and underscoredthe importanceofGLNPas
probably the most secure large area remaining for Tigers in Sumatra (Tilson et al., 1994). However,
habitat continues to be lost as legal and ilegal logging, conversion to plantations and clearance for
agriculture eats away at the remaining forest.Norecent surveys have been undertaken to determinethe
present number of Tigers in the Leuser area, but Tigers are likely to be declining due to uncontroled
poaching, kiling of ‘problem’Tigers and masive habitat los.
Tiger conservation: Much efortby numerous organisationshasgoneintoprotectingtheEcosystem,led
bytheLeuserDevelopmentProgramme.TheLeuserManagementUnit wasformedtoimplementthe first
seven years of the Programme backed by a partnership between the Government of Indonesia and the
European Union. Later management authority wil transfer to the Leuser International Foundation, an
Indonesian non-profit NGO established by presidential decre. The Leuser Development Programme
lists a numberofTigerresearchandconservation priorities on its website (htp:/www.eu-ldp.co.id/), but
no specificaly Tiger-related work is curently being undertaken. There are 10 Rhino Protection Units
carying out poaching patrols which do provide a measure of protection for Tigers and their prey (IRF,
C. BukitBarisanSelatan National Park
TheBukitBarisan Selatan National Park was establishedin 1982and is the thirdlargest nationalpark in
Sumatra at approximately 3560 km2 (Pratje, 1998). It is shared by both Lampung and Bengkulu
provinces.Lampung, Sumatra’smostpopulatedprovince, holds82% of thepark (Pratje,1998).BBSNP
has ben identified as one of the thre high priority Level I Tiger Conservation Units in Sumatra by
Wikramanayake et al.,(1998:Table 1). Butvilages, cultivated areasand plantations suround the park
and encroachment and ilegal setlements threaten the forests within this park. The park’s thin shape
results in approximately 700km of borders where encroachment for logging, agriculture and ilegal
hunting are majorproblems(O’Brienetal., 2003). From analysis of satelite images, it appearsthat the
park has lost 662 km2 of forest since 1985, and al forest within 10 km of the park boundaries has
disappeared. Projectingcurent deforestation ratesinto thefuture, allowland forestwithin thepark wil
be gone by 2036 (Anon., 2002c). Poaching is alsoa serious problem, andPratje (1998) singled out the
vilages of BintuanandKrui for ilegal animal trade.
Tiger population: Based on extensive camera trapping and extrapolation of density, it is curently
estimated that the park population totals 40-43 adult Tigers (O’Brien et al., 2003). Tiger abundance
declined dramaticaly in the southern portions of the park due to heavy poaching, dropping from an
estimated 13 animals in 1999 to 4-5 in 2000/2001 (Anon., 2002c). Based on curent rates of forestlos,
(Kinnairdet al., 2003) predict that by 2010 there wil not be suficient habitat remaining to conserve
Tiger conservation: From 1999-2002 the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Indonesia Program
caried out intensive research into the status of the BBSNPTiger population using camera traps. They
found thatTigersandtheir prey aremoreabundantinthecoreinteriorpartsof thepark, andles abundant
on the edges where they come into contact with people (Anon., 2002c, Anon., 2003b; O’Brien et al.,
2003). Evidence of Tiger poaching colected during this period led to the formation of two Tiger
Protection Units in 2001. The four person teams have members from the Indonesian Department of
Forestry (PHKA) as wel asstaf from local NGOs and are overseen by WCS. One of the TPUs caries
out regular anti-poaching patrols in the park; the other worksinside andoutside the park on inteligence
and investigation. During 2002, the patroling team spent 169 days in the field and covered
approximately 690 km, removing a number of Tiger snares. The inteligence team focused on the
southern part of the park and caried out 1 operations in 279 days (Anon., 2003b). In January 2003,
WCS helped set up a Wildlife Crime Unit for Lampung province to identify arest and prosecuteilegal
wildlife traders (Anon., 2003c).
D.Berbak National Park
Berbak’s protection status was changedfromGameReserve to NationalParkin1992.Althoughit gained
more protection, its area shrank from 2447 to 1716 km2. Located on the east coat of Sumatra, the
landscape inBerbakis generalyflatandslopingwithaltitudes ranging from sealevel to12.5m.Berbak
is an internationaly significant RAMSAR wetland. It contains the largest peat swamp conservation
forest in Asia, and much of the forest is flooded for up to nine months of the year. Tilson et al. (1994)
considered Berbak to have the best habitat for Tigers in Sumatra; but others consider peat swamp to be
poor habitat for the large mammals which are the Tiger’s primary prey species (Seidensticker, 1986;
Santiapilai and Ramono, 1985). Ilegal logging and cultivation on the borders of the park have led to
large-scalefires within itsboundaries,especialy in 1997, when fourpeoplewere kiledby Tigersleaving
the park (Anon., 1997). In a 2002 news report, the Head of the local branch of the Natural Resources
Conservation Agency (BKSDA) Agus Priambudi said that ilegal logging was gradualy destroying the
park. The interview took place after a Tigerkiled two men in a logging concesion adjacent to Berbak
Tiger population: The Sumatran Tiger PHVA workshop estimated the Berbak Tiger population at
approximately 50(Faust and Tilson,1994). Santiapilai and Ramono (1985) considered Berbak to bean
important reserve with a significant Tiger population. To date there has been litle Tiger research efort
Tiger conservation:The Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program (STCP), which works in Way Kambas
andBukitTigapuluh National Parks,plans to help develop future Tiger conservation project activities in
Berbak. GIS analysis of satelite imagery has identified a posible habitat coridor which would link
Berbak and Bukit Tigapuluh National Parks and provide connectivity for the two Tiger populations
E. Way KambasNational Park
Way Kambas National Park (1300 km2) is located in Lampung province on the southeast coast of
Sumatra. As a result of the Indonesian government’s transmigration program, which moved tens of
thousands of vilagers from other islands to Sumatra, Lampung province is now one of Sumatra’s most
densely populated regions. More than half a milion people live near the park’s borders (Nyhus et al.,
1999).WayKambas was firstdeclared anature reservein 1937and its protection statuswasupgraded to
national parkstatusin 1989. However,theareahas beenextensivelyloggedduring thelast 30years,and
is now comprised primarily of lowland secondary forest and grasland. Because of its history of
disturbance, Tiger researchers consider it a representative model for much of the potential Tiger habitat
remainingin Sumatra (Franklin et al., 1999).
Tiger population: Based on extensive camera trapping and extrapolation of densities in 1995-1997,
Franklin et al. (1999) estimated the Way Kambas population at 36resident adultTigers. Theyidentified
21 individual Tigers in their study site in the centre of the park, comprising just 12% of the park’s total
Tiger conservation:TheSTCPis a colaborativeconservationefort betwen the Directorate Generalof
Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA), The Tiger Foundation (Canada) and the Sumatran
Tiger Trust (UK). The STCP has ben working in Way Kambas since 1985. Adetailed study of Tiger
status and ecology has ben caried out using camera traps (Franklin et al., 1999). These camera traps
turned up surprising evidence of a Sumatran Rhino population in the park, and Rhino Protection Unit
anti-poaching teams wereestablished in 1996,with a curenttotal of seven RPUs. However,Tigers and
rhinos favour diferent habitatswithin thepark,so two four-member Tiger ProtectionUnits were formed
in 2003. Teammembers are from local communities, the PHKAand the STCP (Franklin et al.,2003).
F. BukitTigapuluh National Park
Bukit Tigapuluh National Park is located near to Kerinci Seblat National Park and is included in the
Kerinci SeblatTigerConservationUnit(Table1).Itwasoficialydeclaredanational park in1995. This
park covers approximately 1290 km2 and contains montane forest as wel as a large and significant area
oflowlandrainforest. Partsof thepark were formerly logged over and are now being regenerated anda
remnant 300km2 of primary forestremains (Pratje,1998). Ilegal logging and los of habitat isasevere
threat in Bukit Tigapuluh National Park. Weak enforcement and poor boundary demarcation have
resulted in significant timber loses within the park (Anon., 2003d). There is also presure to convert
more land to agriculture, and there are several setlements located inside the park boundaries (Pratje,
1998). Logging roads leading into the park have fragmented much of the forest and make the park
vulnerable to further encroachment and destruction. However, there is a strong advocacy movement to
establishabuferzonearound thepark,andthe Indonesiangovernment is considering implementationof
increasedprotection for remainingforestland surounding the park (Anon., 2003d).
Tiger population:The STCP has begun carying out camera trap surveys in Bukit Tigapuluh National
Park. Preliminary analysis has produced photographic capture rates for Tigers similar to those in Way
KambasNational Park, which is approximately the same size, suggestingthat the Tiger populationsmay
be equivalent (Anon., 2003d).
Tiger conservation:As in KerinciSeblat, the main threatto Tigers in Bukit Tigapuluh is poaching. As
discused later inthisreport, levels ofTigerhuntinghaveben highinthisareafordecades.In2003,the
STCP began establishing Tiger Protection Units, with a total of 6-8 planned. Members of the team are
recruited from PHKA and local communities bordering the park and given intensive training. In 2003,
the TPUs patroled for 104 days,covering 700 kmby motorcycle and foot (Anon., 2003d).
Table 2summarizes Tiger statusand conservationin the sixmajornationalparks of Sumatra.
Table2 Tiger status and conservationin thesix major national parks of Sumatra.
National YearArea (km2)TigerDensityTCUlevel9TigerAnti-
Bukit Tigap 1989
1.2. Background on trade in Sumatran Tiger parts and products
As throughout much of Tiger range, historical records from the previous two centuries point to the skin
as the most valued part of a Tiger from Sumatra. The value of a skin from Sumatra in the early 1930s
was reported as 150-350 Dutch florins (Trep, 1973). By the 1970s, the price of a Sumatran Tiger skin
was quoted as USD$1,000, and by the mid 1980s Santiapilai and Ramono (1985)found the retail value
ofa Sumatran TigerskinhadrisentoUS$3,000. Noneofthesesourcesmention Tigerboneas a valuable
commodity,although Treep (1973) noted that “the Chinese especialy” valued someparts of the Tigeras
But in 1990 the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group isued an alarm cal, linking reports of intensive
poaching in India and Nepal, theTiger’sSouth Asian stronghold, with market demand for Tiger bone in
traditional Asian medicine (Jackson,1990). Shortly thereafter,Mils(1993) pointedtoSumatraasamong
the world’s largest sourcesofTiger bone ininternationaltrade, aftershefoundCustoms records inSouth
KoreashowingextensiveimportsofTiger bone fromIndonesia datingbackto themid-1970s.Indonesia,
however,has not recorded any oficialexports of Tiger bone since itjoined CITES in 1979.
Thissection analyzesthe historicalinternationaltradeinTigerbonefromIndonesia,andprovidesdetailed
background on domestic trade in Sumatra. The discusion is divided into two main categories and six
I.Export of Tiger skinsand bones for internationalmarkets.
I.Importation of manufacturedor procesed medicines that contain Tiger bone.
I. Markets predominately catering to international workers and touristsfor customdesigned gold
pendantsusing Tiger teth and claws.
B) Domestic trade
IV. Traditional Asian Medicine/magicpracticed throughoutSumatraand other parts of Indonesia
uses Tiger derivatives as ingredients forprescriptions or as amulets toward ofevil spirits
V. Domestictrade in Tigerskins and stufed Tigers
appearsto be ahighly specialized market with
police, army andbusines men as the primary con
:FI-IndonesiaVI. Finalythere appearsto be a minorityof
editindividualsseling live Tigersto zoos and private
colectionslocaly andposibly internationaly
Sumatran Tiger skin from a dealer in
1.2.1. International trade
Beginningin1975al Tigersub-species were listed onCITESAppendix Iwiththeexceptionofthe Amur
Tiger Panthera tigris altaica, of the RusianFar Eastand adjoining areas of Chinaand North Korea.In
1987, thissub-specieswas also listed on Appendix I, creatinga total banon commercial Tiger trade and
thus closed an important loophole that had alowed international trade of Tigers to continue. Indonesia
aceded toCITES in 1979,andsince then oficial Indonesianrecordsshowno exports of Tiger bone.In
Julyof 1993, South Koreaaccededto CITES. Prior tothis South Korean customs kept records of Tiger
bone imports,nearlyalof whichwerein violationofCITES,becausethesourceofmany oftheseimports
were countries thathadalready joinedCITES, includingIndonesia(Mils, 1993: Table3).These detailed
records reveal Indonesiaas South Korea’smainsupplierof Tigerbone, and theyprovidesome of thebest
and only insights into international Tiger exports from Indonesia. Post 1992 there is no further
information regarding international trade from Indonesia. This should not imply that internationaltrade
no longer exists: ilegal international trade caried out by smuggling wil of course not be reported in
oficialexports or imports.
Indonesia’s past exports ofTiger boneto South Korea
Prior to becoming a signatory to CITES in 1993 the Department of Customs Administration of South
Korea kept records of Tiger bone imported since 1975. The Department’s statistics show that, betwen
1975and1992,SouthKorea imported6128kgofTigerbone,anaverageof 340kgperyear(Mils, 1993).
The majorityofthisimportwasfromIndonesia,atotal of3720 kg(61%) over18 years(Table3). While
imports fromothercountries were sporadic, Indonesianimportsocured regularly,nearly every year for
which records werekept.If theaveragedried weightofaTigerskeletonisapproximately12 kg(Nowel,
Tiger skeletons went into these shipments, or indeed be certain that the bones declared as Tiger did not
include otherspecies, as fakesor substitutes, mixed in.
South Korean importers declared a value of their Tiger bone imports to the Department of Customs
Administration. Table 3 shows the total and average per kg declared values for Indonesian Tiger bone
imports (Table 3).Thelargestvolume yearsfor Indonesian imports were 1981(1060kg),1975 (620 kg),
and 1988 (560 kg). It is interesting that the lowest per kg declared values were asociated with these
large-volumeimports. The highestperkgvalue(USD 238/kg)wasreported in 1992fora relatively smal
shipmentof55 kg in 1992,the year beforeSouthKoreajoined CITES and Tigerimports became ilegal.
However, when adjusted for inflation, using the midpoint year of 1985 as the basis, this figure of USD
238 declines to USD151, not significantly diferent from the overalinflation-adjusted average declared
valueof Indonesian Tigerboneof USD158/kg(Table4).Theoveralaverage inflation-adjusted declared
value of Indonesian Tiger bone is not significantly diferent from that of USD 175/kg from other
countries, including range states such as India and consumer states such as Japan. However, while the
valueof Indonesian Tiger bone did not decline much overtime when adjusted for inflation,the value of
Tiger bone from other exporters fel by 40%. These types ofchanges in price are somewhat surprising,
givendeclining Tigerpopulationsandthusadeclinein thesupplyofTiger bone, whichwouldbeexpected
toresultin a price increase, even when adjusted forinflation.
Other countries that South Korea recorded import of Tiger bone from during this period include China,
Japan, Thailand, Malaysia,India, Singapore, Taiwan, oddly Madagascar, and others (“others” making up
for lesthan10% of the total imports) (Mils, 1993). Oftheninecountries recordedas being sourcesof
South Korea’s Tiger bone imports, only five are range states for Tigers. It is posible, even likely that
some of the Tigers exported from non-range states could also have originated from Indonesia.
Singaporeand Malaysia’s role in the tradeofIndonesia Tiger products
Singaporeand Malaysia are closeneighboursto Sumatra,and thereis some evidence that Singapore isa
re-exporterof ilegalTigerproductsfrom Sumatra.In1987 Singapore joinedCITESandsincethat time
it has shown no records of international Tiger trade. Betwen 1991 and 1992 China reported exporting
more than 26 000 containers of traditional Asian medicine and tonics containing Tiger derivatives to
Singapore. However,what is moreinterestingis the number ofexports. Between 1970and 1985South
Korearecordedimporting195kg ofTigerbone from Singapore.Theobviousquestioniswheredidthese
bones originate? From Singapore it is suspected that Tiger parts are then shipped to Korea, China,
Taiwan, Malaysia and posibly Japan (WWF-ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). In an expose on
important market for Tiger bones, which was confirmed in the findings of this report. According to one
poacher’s account, the Tiger bones were delivered to Riau Province and then shipped to Singapore by
spedboat.Uponarival Singaporeinvestors metthe deliverybutwhathappenedtothebones from there
isunknown,(WWF-IDinlit.toTRAFFIC,2000).Acording to dealersinterviewed inthis survey, Tiger
partscontinue to besold not only toSingapore but also to Malaysia.
Indonesian exports of Tiger bone to Taiwan
From 1980 and 1987, when Tiger and bear imports were banned by their Wildlife Conservation Law,
Taiwan reported importing 3949kg of Tiger and bearbonesfromSingapore. TigerbonefromSingapore
may have originated in Indonesia, as Singapore has no Tigers of its own. Taiwan had no separate
categoryforlisting Tigerbones, soitisimposibletodetermine what proportionoftheseshipmentswere
Tiger (Milsand Jackson,1994). Taiwan’s Customs data also document that Indonesiadirectly exported
100 kg of Tigerand /orbearboneto Taiwan in 1984,though againhow much of the shipmentwas Tiger
bone is unknown (Mils and Jackson, 1994). There is no recent evidence pointing to Taiwan as an
importerofTigerpartsfromIndonesia, andTaiwan hasmadegreatstrides toward eliminating ilegaltrade
in Tiger bone medicines (Nowel, 2000), but some ilegal trade may continue.
International import of Tigerproducts to Sumatra
In 1991 and 1992, China’s annual CITES reports indicated that Indonesia imported 225 containers of
Tiger medicines (Mils and Jackson, 1994). However, there have been no further reports or anecdotal
of imports into Indonesia and no imported Tiger products were observed during this survey. The ready
availability of localy sourced Tiger parts, including bones, in Sumatra would suggest that importing of
further Tiger products to Sumatra from other countries unlikely because of the asociated expense and
Table 3. Tigerbones imported into SouthKorea fromIndonesia
TOBones 197519761977197819791980 198119821983198419851986 198719881989199019911992
USD6,188 7,707 1,283 12,458 17,731 10,53612,513 -3,019 -7,875 3,852 44,026 31,584 32,165 21,932 44,349 13,14
Adaptedfrom theStatisticalYearbookof ForeignTrade, Departmentof CustomsAdministration, South
Korea, Volume 12(mils, 193).
*Asumingthatadried tigerskeletonweighs 12kg(Nowel, 200)
Table 4. Averageinflation-adjusted *USDprice perkg of South Korean tigerbone imports
*Source: Mils (193)(includes anualIMF inflation adjustment factors)
Indonesia has a substantial and wel-developed domestic market for Tiger products (Nowel, 2000).
Previous reportsfrom investigations of the trade suggested that much of the Tigerproducts availableare
utilized within Indonesia (Plowden and Bowles, 1997; Indrawan et al., 1999). Tigers are traded within
Indonesia fora number of reasons, including usein traditional Asian medicines andmagic, trophies and
curios, and to be kept live as petsand status symbols.
Traditional medicinal andmagic uses ofTiger parts in Sumatra
Tiger parts have long beenused in Asian systems oftraditional medicine, especialy that of the Chinese.
Although many parts of the Tigermaybeused in traditional Asianmedicines, traditionaly thebonesare
mostwidelyused to treat rheumatism. The Tiger’s penis isalso consideredan aphrodisiacwhen soaked
in wine (Chan, 1995). Tiger parts arealso used for magic purposes as wel, which often has an overlap
with medicinal uses and is therefore included in the same category. Skins, claws and canines are also
valuedasnovelties andsouvenirs. The folowingisalist of Tigerpartsand their usesintraditional Asian
medicinaland magical practicesin Sumatra:
Canines– Magic, curios– Canine teeth used to make ornamental jewelery,primarily pendants
on necklaces.Some local people believeTigercanines provide goodluck andprotective powers
to those who wear them (Anon. vendor Bukitinggi, West Sumatra, pers. comm. to
TRAFFIC, 2002). The sale of canines is predominantly caried out through shops
seling gold, but shops seling precious stones, antiques andsouvenirsalso sel Tiger canines.
Claws – Magic, curios –Claws are most often inlayed in goldto makependants for necklaces.
Local people believe Tiger claws provide good luck and protective powers to those who wear
them (Anon. vendor Jambi, pers. comm.to TRAFFIC, 2002). The seling of claws appears to
bealmostexclusively caried out throughgoldshops, althoughantiqueshops andsouvenirshops
Whiskers–Magic–Whiskersarebelievedto have magical powerstoprotect thosewho poses
it from malicious curses. Magic fromwhiskers is believed to be most powerful when removed
froma liveTiger (WWF-ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002).
Tail –Magic – The tail is usualy sold stil intact with the skin. However, if the skin is badly
damaged the skin may be divided into smal pieces for individualsale. In suchcasesthetail is
sometimes sold separately as a trophy or talisman that is said to protect one from curses if kept
in the home.
Skin– Magic – Some peoplein Indonesiaalso believethat Tiger skin contains magicalpowers.
Mosttypicaly smal piecesof Tigerskinareused toprotectthe ownerfromblackmagic. These
pieces are also used by Shaman to cast black magic spelson others (WWF-ID, pers. comm. to
TRAFFIC, 2002). Additionaly they maybe shaped into a belt with a magical code used to
protect the one who wears it from al dangers posed by wild animals or bad spirits (FFI-ID in
lit. to TRAFFIC, 2003). Intact skins in good condition are far more valuable than the total of
smal pieces that can be derived from a skin. Therefore only those skins, which are badly
damaged, are cut into pieces for sale (FFI-ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). Some local
peoplebelieve that the skin wil have no powers if it is covered by a human shadow before the
trapped Tiger is kiled(C. Saleh, pers. comm.to TRAFFIC, 2002).
Skin from sole of paw– Magic– Usedby some local people for ritual purposes.
Skin from the forehead –Magic –Thisis saidto be the most expensivepart of theskin,asthe
stripes between the ears are thought to look like the Chinese character for royalty (Shepherd,
pers. obs.,2002). This piece of skinis believed to bring the owner prosperity and good luck.
Eyebrows –Magic – The eyebrows are said to be very powerful and have the ability to protect
the owner from evil and give themstrength.
Penis– Traditional “tonic” – The penis is said to have aphrodisiac powers.
Gal –Traditional medicine –Tigergal isdriedand put into tablets used tocure bone diseases.
Flesh-Traditional medicine, crop protection –Flesh is cooked and eaten totreat skin diseases.
Farmers burn smal strips of flesh around the edge of a field to kep wild pigs away. The
market for Tiger flesh remains generaly local and is not apparently commercialy significant.
However,itisknown thatthereisamarketfordriedTiger fleshforaboutIDR 71200-89 000/kg
(USD 8-10/kg) in remote rural areas (FFI-ID in lit. to TRAFFIC, 2001). Further it is known
there is adealerin Riau who exports Tiger meat toMalaysia (Shepherd, pers. obs., 2000).
Fat –Magic – Farmers believe keeping a botle of Tiger fat wil protect their farms from
depredation by Wild Pigs (WWF-ID in lit. to TRAFFIC, 2000).
Milk – Traditional medicine –Used in medicinalremedies (FFI-ID in lit.to TRAFFIC, 2001).
Tiger dung – Magic, crop protection – Some Indonesian ‘Dukuns’(Shaman or Witch Doctor)
use themanure to treat peoplewhoaresuferingfromblackmagicspelsthat hasbencastupon
them. In one instance, a Dukun brought a man to the Medan Zoo, who was sufering teribly
from a spel that had ben cast on him. The Dukun requested Tiger manure from the keeper at
the zoo and fed it to the sufering man on the spot. Occasionaly farmers and plantation
workers request Tigermanure from kepersatthe Medan Zoo.Themanureis spreadaroundthe
Tigers are not likelykiled for this purpose, it isinterestingto noteits use(Shepherd, pers.obs.,
Bone –Traditional medicine– Ground into powder to be taken with a glas ofwarm water. It
is used to treat rheumatism and head aches. The front humerus bone is said to be most highly
valuedfor its strength intraditionalmedicine (Chan,1995).
Right front pawbone - Traditional medicine, magic – According to dealers, the bone found in
the right front paw is regarded as being the strongest one, which enables a Tiger to pul a prey
biggerthanitself.Theboneis put intoaglas of warm water and letfor a shortperiodoftime,
then drunkto treatheadaches. Some users believe it to have a power todrive away bad spirits.
FakeTiger paws are commonly observed inChinesemarkets (Nowel, 2000).
Domestictrade in Tiger skins and stufed Tigers
Indonesia enacted major conservation legislation in 1990 (see Section 3), and shortly thereafter the
Indonesian Ministry of Forestry required al persons in prior posesion of protected species and their
parts and products to register and obtain a permit. The initial registration period was to extend from
No. 479/Kpts-VI/1992). A total of 1081 stufed and mounted Tiger skins were reported to have been
registered. Registered Tiger specimens included 100 stufed Sumatran Tigers kept in houses of
governmentoficialsand businesmeninSouth Sumatra. Another200 stufedTigers wereheld byprivate
individualsin Lampung andabout300 in Palembang.Theorigin of these Tigerswas undetermined, but
presumablythey were fromSumatraoriginaly,or were captive-bornofspringfromeitherwild-caughtor
privately-held Tigers (Tilson andTraylor-Holzer, 1994).
InterestinposesingaTigerskincontinues in Sumatra. Theskinmaybestretchedorstufed.Intactskins
ingoodconditionarefarmorevaluablethan thetotalofsmal piecesthatcanbederivedfroma skin (FFI-
ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). Tiger skins are reportedly given to a senior oficer by police or
militarypersonnel tohelp them atainamoreseniorpositionorare given as gifts bybusinesmentohelp
closea businesdeal. It is stil seenas a sign of great prestigeto haveskins or live animalsthat are rare
or highly endangered (FFI-ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). High-ranking oficers may receive
stufedTigers from theircoleaguesas a giftuponretirement(C.Saleh,pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002).
The domestic trade of liveTigers forzoosandprivate colections
While much of the trade in Tigers revolves around the demand for traditional Asian medicines, there is
also a trade in live Tigers as pets or status symbols. In Sumatra, as is the case throughout much of
Indonesia,the owning of a rare species, especialy those protectedby law, isviewed by many to indicate
status. It shows that an individual is important and powerful as to be immune from prosecution over
wildlife infractions (Nash, 1993). Tigers are no exception. Wealthy individuals or people of senior
positions, such as military, police, or government oficials, often have their own private colections of
animals; some may reach the sizeofsmal zoos (Shepherd, pers. obs,2002.).
Wild Tigers are also ofered for sale to zoos. Acording to the Director of the Medan Zoo, Tigers have
ben ofered to the zoo on numerous occasions, buttheidentity of the dealers remains unknown. Ofers
usualy come in the form of an anonymous phone cal to the Director, asking if he is interested in
purchasing a Tiger. As dealers do not reveal their identity, it is unknown if the same individual
repeatedlyofersTigers for saleorifthereisanumberofdiferentindividuals selinglive Tigers.Equaly
it is unknown if the individuals ofering Tigers are hunters, dealers or vilagers trying to rid themselves
ofaconflict Tiger. The Director of the MedanZoo says that he has never accepted any Tigers that have
ben ofered in such a manner and does not know the fate of such animals. In one case, however, the
Medan Zoo turned down the opportunity to purchase two Tiger cubs in August 2002, and the cubs are
known to have gone to a zoo in Riau two weks later (Anon, 2002). The Director of the Medan Zoo
reportsreceiving thre to fourcalsof such a nature eachyearover thepast fiveyears.It is believedthat
Tigers oferedto the MedanZoo originatefrom North Sumatra.
1.2.3. Therole of fakes
Around theworld, many Tiger parts and products sen in trade are fake – that is, they are neither actual
Tiger parts nor aretheyderived from Tigers. For example,it is posible, even probable, that muchofthe
“Tigerbone”content ofmanufacturedpils,plasters, gelsand winedoesnotactualycontainany(Nowel,
2000). Whole bones from other animals are frequently pased of as Tiger bones. Fake Tiger parts are
notlimited to those used in medicine,but also include fake penises(typicalywaterbufalo withcarved,
exaggerated barbs), skins (painted dog,catle or goat skins), and claws and teth (fromother animals, or
madeoutofplastic or resin). Yates(2000) provides a photo and text guidefor investigatorsto helpthem
distinguish genuine and fake Tiger products. In many retail markets, fakes are common. For example,
biologistsfromtheInstituteofEcologicalandBiological ResourcesinHanoi,Vietnamcariedout aTiger
trade survey for TRAFFIC in 1999, and estimated that 50-70% of the teeth and claws they found in
souvenir markets labeled as Tiger were fake (Nowel, 2000). However, with the exception of some
plasticTiger caninesandone smal fakepiece ofTigerskinseeninmarketsofsouthern Sumatra(Hartana
and Martyr, 2001), there have been very few reports of fake Tiger parts and products in Sumatra. The
majority of items documented in this TRAFFIC survey were genuine Tiger. Sumatra stands out
internationaly as an area where most trade is in verifiable genuine Tiger parts, and as such its markets
representasignificantthreat to theSumatran Tiger’scontinued survival.
1.3. Legal protection framework for Sumatran Tigers
The firstnational legislation to protect TigersinIndonesiawaspasedin1972.In1990, Indonesiapased
the Act of theRepublic ofIndonesia onConservation ofLivingResourcesand Ecosystems(1990),which
is also known as the Conservation Act (No. 5) of 1990. This Act is used as the legal basis for the
conservation of wild species, including fuly protected species, suchas the Tiger (Mils, 1994). The act
is also known as Conservation Act No. 5. Intentional violations of this Act are punishable by
imprisonment ofup tofive yearsand/or fines up to IDR 100 000000 (USD 11235). Violationsthrough
negligence are punishable by imprisonment of up to one year and/or fines up to IDR 50 000 000 (USD
5600). These penalties are very high, compared to the average annual gros national income for
Indonesia, which in2001 wasIDR6 052000 (USD 680) andIDR 3 827000 (USD 430) forlow income
families. This law should pose a strong deterent to ilegal hunting and trade in Sumatran Tigers, if
properlyenforced.The Indonesiangovernment further strengthenedexisting domesticlawsby requiring
al individuals holdingTigers or Tigerparts toregister these posesions by acquiring a one-time permit
(Tilson andTraylor-Holzer,1994;Plowden andBowles,1997).Theagencyresponsibleforimplementing
the Conservation Act is the Department of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, Indonesian
Ministry of Forestry(Perlindungan Hutan dan Konservasi Alam: PHKA).
Indonesian legislation alows the government to seize and confiscate specimens of protected animals
involved in violations. Al seizeditems are held in stocks or used inresearchand education activities or
destroyed. Al stock, both government and privately owned, are marked and registered. At the end of
1992, 1081 Tiger skin mounts were registered in private hands in Indonesia (Tilson and Traylor-Holzer,
1994). Governmentheldstocks are consolidated (Mainka, 1997).However, in late2003, a newDecree
(Number: 447/Kpts-I/2003) was enacted under the Ministry of Forestry. In Chapter VI: Disposal of
Confiscated(Seized) Specimensof thatDecre,PartOne,Article13 statesthatalconfiscatedspecimens
are valueles for scientific and educational purposes, they are to be destroyed. There is no mention of
keping these specimensin stock.
Four confiscated mounted Tiger specimens were burned in a public ceremony at an August 2002
government-NGO workshop on Anti-Poaching and Ilegal Trade in Sumatran Tigers and their Products
Indonesia has a substantial number of Forest ranger personnel spread throughout its provinces, who are
under the control of PHKA’s Department of Forestry and Nature Conservation (DFNC). These
include specialist ‘Jagawana’ who, together with Forest Police and Investigators, tackle poaching and
other forms of wildlife crime. Field units have acces to speedboats, pick-up trucks, motorbikes, rifles
and revolvers. The total strength of personnel who could potentialy be involved in enforcement is
intended to be raised to some 15 000 in the near future. Undercover operations are permited. DFNC
staf appears toenjoya relatively good working relationship withthepolice, Customs and army. DFNC
staf who detain ofenders are obliged to pas them over to the police. The police thereafter initiate
prosecution procedures (Selar et al., 1999).
In addition to having national legislation to protect the Tigers, Indonesia is also a member state to the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of WildFauna and Flora (CITES). Indonesia
became a Signatory to CITES on 28 December 1978, which came into efect on 28 March, 1979. The
Tiger islisted in Appendix Iby CITESwhich prohibits any commercial tradeoflive Tigersortheirparts
andderivatives. PHKA-DFNC is theagency in Indonesia responsiblefor the implementation of CITES
with regards to Tigers. Al CITES shipments have to be inspected in cooperation with Indonesian
Customs prior to export (Selaretal., 1999).
Whileal commercial Tiger tradewas made ilegal under CITES in 1987,folowing the alarming reports
of poaching for Tiger bone in the early 1990s the Parties to CITES enacted a number of resolutions to
strengthen eforts to stop the trade. In 1994, a Resolution (Res. Conf. 9.13) was pased exhorting the
Parties to prohibit domestic trade in Tiger bone (an area technicaly beyond the remit of the Convention,
which focuses on trade between nations). The Resolution also caled for a number of additional
measures aimed atstoppingthe use ofTiger parts for traditionalmedicine (Mainka,1997; Nowel, 2000).
CITES also commisioned CITES Technical and Political Tiger Misions to visit key supplying and
consuming Parties,including Indonesia(Selar et al., 1999). While the CITESTigerMisions Technical
Team wasimpresed withsome aspects of Indonesia’simplementation of CITES for Tigers, particularly
the Tiger ProtectionUnitscaryingout anti-poachingmeasures inseveral national parks inSumatra,they
also found “suficient grounds to suspect that significant ilicit trade of Indonesia’s fauna and flora, to
domestic and international markets, is taking place.The open nature of thetrade noted bythe technical
teamsuggests that few deterent factors are operating at present” (Selaretal.,1999). The CITES Tiger
Resolution was modified and strengthened in 2000 partly on the basis of the report of the CITES Tiger
Misions Technical Team,and in 2002, the Parties extended its provisionsto cover al AsianAppendix I
big cat species, whose bones could potentialy be used as a substitute for Tiger bone (Res. Conf. 12.5).
Adequate legislationis inplaceto protect the Sumatran Tiger, makingilegal hunting and bothdomestic
and international trade (Mainka, 1997; Selar et al., 1999). However, enforcement and prosecution are
sorely lackingor,in many areas, non-existent.InSumatrathere have beenonly fourknownconvictions
for Tiger poaching and trade since 1997 (D. Martyr, pers comm., to TRAFFIC, 2003). There are a
number of factors blocking progres. Resourcesare limited, especialyfor prosecution of wildlife cases.
Lack of capacity of trained and capable enforcement personnel is a problem which is steadily being
addresed by thegovernment and conservationgroups, as wil be discused later inthisreport there have
beenmajorinvestmentsintraining and supportforforestry staf andpolice. Stil, coruption atworstand
lackof political wil and commitment at best severely hinder the control of the ilegal hunting andtrade
(FFI-ID, WWF-ID in lit. 2000, 2003). The next section of this report presents extensive data
documenting ilegal huntingand trade in theSumatran Tiger, showing that much more lawenforcement
efort is required to save thisendangeredanimal.
TRAFFIC’s first comprehensive review of the Tiger trade Kiled for a Cure (Mils and Jackson, 1994)
was ableto drawon oficialtrade statistics foranalysis, and with this information showed the severity of
the global Tiger situation.By the early1990s internationaland domestic Tiger trade was ilegalin most
consumerandrangestates, including Indonesia.Theawarenesand presurebrought tobear onelements
of the Tiger trademeant thatmuch ofthe information compiled fora folow-up report, Farfrom aCure:
the Tiger Trade Revisited (Nowel, 2000), had tobegathered throughmarket surveys andinvestigations.
Similar methods were relied upon for this survey, for there is no longer any legal documentation of
domestic or international trade in Tiger parts and products from Indonesia. From April to November
2002, surveys were conducted by TRAFFIC Southeast Asia throughout Sumatra to ases the level of
domestic and international trade in Tigers and their parts. To achieve the most comprehensive and
acurate account of the Sumatran Tiger trade posible, data were gathered from a variety of sources
includingliterature reviews, marketsurveys,surveysby protected area staf,andinterviewswithhunters,
retailers, dealers, zoo staf, undercover investigators working for NGO-government Tiger conservation
programs, and localnon-governmentalorganizations.
Monetary figures colected in Indonesian Rupiah were converted to US Dolars using the web-based
curencyconverter provided byOANDA(htp:/www.oanda.com). At the time (late2003) of writing this
report the conversion rate was 1 USDolar (USD) = 8900Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).
2.1 Literature review
Acomprehensive review of relevant literaturewas conducted. Sourcesincluded:
•Informationprovided bytheGovernment ofIndonesia toTRAFFIC.
•Published and unpublished information including; interviews, surveys and progres reports.
This was provided by Tiger and Tiger trade experts from, FFI-ID, WWF-ID, WCS, the STCP
andnumerous individuals working intheregion.
•Relevantdata colected byTRAFFIC during otherwildlife trade surveys.
•Articlesand reports onTigertradeandconservationsourcedfrommediareportsand theInternet.
•Sumatran Tiger captive breding and zoo records from Indonesian zoos and members of the
2.2 Market surveys
Market surveys were caried out by TRAFFIC Southeast Asia in major cities and suspected Tiger trade
hubs in Aceh, North Sumatra, Riau, West Sumatra, Jambi, South Sumatra and Lampung. Surveys were
not caried out in Bengkulu by TRAFFIC, but by other organisations who contributed their findings to
Ineach province, cities,towns and vilagesidentifiedby previous studiesby TRAFFIC, otherNGOsand
informantsas tradecentres for Tigersand Tigerpartswereinvestigated.Surveyswere conductedingold,
preciousstone,souvenir,western pharmaceutical, and traditionalAsianmedicineshopsin these towns,as
these are the outlets known to sel Tiger and other wildlife parts. Ocasionaly, based on information
gathered during the course of these surveys,other markets or shops seling Tiger parts or products were
identified by interviewees and investigated. For the purposes of conducting research in the markets,
investigators posed as buyers to gather data on highly sensitive subjects such as customers, suppliers,
origins, trade routes, and availability of Tigers and Tiger parts. Although the primary purpose of this
research was to investigate the Tiger trade,al species ofwildlife observed were identified and counted.
No wildlifeproductswereactualypurchased.Tigerpartswere counted,identifiedasgenuineorfake (see
Yates, 2000) and in most instances, prices were recorded. In addition to those specimens openly
available for sale, investigators made requests of salespersons to search for items concealed in boxes,
under the counterorthat werekeptatother locations.
Due to the ilegal natureofthetrade and the variety of sourcesandlocalitiesexamined by the authors, it
was not posible to use a standardised questionnaire. When interviewing dealers seling Tiger parts,
researchers atempted to colectinformation onvolumes of trade, uses of Tiger parts, sources and origin
ofTiger parts, pricesatdiferentmarket levels, methods of hunting, trade routes and endmarkets.
2.3 Non-governmental and governmental authorities
To gain a deeper insight into Tiger trade activities, especialy covert activities and changes in trends,
TRAFFIC Southeast Asia worked in colaboration with the Sumatran ofices of international non-
governmental organizations, including FFI-ID, WWF-ID, the WCS, and the STCP. Al of these
organizationsbenvery active inTigerprotectioninSumatraandhavebencolectinginteligenceon the
identityofTiger huntersandbuyers of Tigerproducts. Moreover, in colaboration with local authorities,
they have ben actively working towards prosecuting ilegal trade in Tiger parts and products.
Information on Tiger status and poaching was specificaly sought from these sources. This information
also helped to verify and validate information colected from shopkeepers, wildlife dealers, zoos, and
3. The supply: Tiger hunting in Sumatra
Habitat los, fragmentation and reduction of prey base are important threats to Tigers. Moreover, they
serve to increase the Tiger’svulnerabilityto poaching, which has beenconsideredthemost urgent threat
to the survival of the species since theearly 1990s. Genuine Tiger products sen in marketscome from
twopotential sources ofsupply:wild Tigers, or Tigersin captivity. Tigersincaptivity are discused later
inthis report. Conservation concern focuses onpreventing poachingofwild Tigers.
Sumatra stands out for having a graphic documentation of the threat posed by Tiger poaching for trade
captured onfilm. In1988,CinecontactProductionsproducedavideo programforSurvivalAnglia caled
“Animal Trafic: 31 Tigers”. The filmmakers accompanied a team of Tiger hunters somewhere in
Sumatra as they set wire snares and eventualy caught, then shot, as female Sumatran Tiger. The Tiger
was skinned andits parts were hidden andtaken into an urban market for sale. The leadhunter claimed
to have already caught 30 Tigers in the past year; this program documented his 31st. An Indonesian
taxidermist in the video claimed to have sold 10 Tiger skins within the last year (Tilson and Traylor-
Since then, much efort has been invested throughout Tiger range in improving anti-poaching measures,
and in colecting data onTigerpoaching in order to monitor the efectivenes of conservation measures.
Thisisespecialy true in Sumatra.This reportpresentsthe firstcomprehensivedata onTiger poaching in
Sumatra, gathered from a number of diferentsources, includingTRAFFIC’s own interviews with Tiger
hunters (Box1).Thisinformationcanbeverydificulttocolect: sinceTiger huntingisilegal,it iscovert
and dificult to detect. Sumatra stands out among Tiger range states for having made good progres in
colecting this type of data, which provide a basis for evaluating the severity of the poaching threat for
the Sumatran Tiger.
Wire snare confiscated in the Bukit Barisan Selatan
National Park. Simple snares like these are used to
Box 1. Interview with a hunter.
andbegan hunting in1954. Hehas lived inthe samerural vilage in Lampung Provincenearlyal his life. Hecomes
from a vilagethatis relatively por where the primary source of income is derived fromfarming. Now81 years old,
he continuestohuntwithhis sonsand teach othersthetrade of tiger hunting.
He said thathis huntingmethodsandtraditionshavenotchangedinthe48years hehadbeenhuntingtigers.Hunting
takesplacesdepwithinBukitBarisanSelatanNational Park. Althoughheclaimedthat huntingtigerswashisprimary
means of livelihood, healsosaidhe only madetwohunting tripseachyear.
Duringthese trips,atrap line islaidconsisting of aproximately60 snares, set along paths frequently used by tigers.
Overhislifetime heclaimed tohavecaughtmore than15SumatranTigers.Theintervieweecouldnot givean annual
averageforthenumberoftigers he hadilegalykiledoverthe 48 yearhehadben activelyhunting.However,hewas
able to provide some interestinginsight intorateofilegalkiling and how this haschanged. In1989, hehad a record
“Now,” he says, “it is much tougher to catch tigers because there are so many more men hunting tigers than ever
before.” In fact the intensity of competitionto catch tigers has led to hunters robing each other’s trapswhen they
Almostalthetigerscaughtinthis vilage aresent to EastJavaorJakarta where theyaresold localy(notexported out
of the country). The few that are notsentto Java are soldinPalembang or to local buyers.Prior toour arival this
intervieweesaid hehadsold a stufed Sun BearforIDR 1204 320 (USD 1348.80) andonetiger skin for a price of
IDR200720 (USD248).In1989, whenhecaught14 tigers, he sold alspecimenstoEast Java,wheretheywere
sold for local use including taxidermy, skins, ornamentation, and magic purposes.
Hissaleof altigerpartstoJavaapearstocontradict reports frominvestigatorsthatmosttigerpartsfromthisareaare
is that this community originated in Java and stil maintains strong ties to this region through family or
businesconnections. Anotherinteresting phenomenon ofthis region insouthernSumatra isthat many local hunters
here do not sel the bones for traditional Asian medicine as is the common practice elsewhere. Apparently this is
because the hunters here perceive the skins, teth and claws as the onlyvaluable partson atiger. When atiger is
kiled,thecurentpracticeisto immediatelyskintheanimaleither whereitiscaughtor inasafelocation.Onlytheskin,
teth, andclaws are removedwhilethe meat and bones are left torot.
they wereusualy notthe primary targets. Manyanimals usethe same pathsintheforestand are caughtacidentaly
in tigersnares.Although theseleghold snaresareintended to bespecies-specific theyare often not.Theintentionof
using species-specific snares for tigers stems not from conservation minded concerns but rather from an efort to
maximize the dolar earned per unitof efort spenthunting. Sambar Der Cervus unicolor, Sun Bear andBinturong
Arctictisbinturongwere thespecieshe said he mostfrequentlysnared asincidentalkilings. However, healso said on
ocasionswhenordersareplacedfor specificspecies orwhenthereisaknowndemandforanitem,theseanimalsare
Just as depictedin the1988 film “31 Tigers”,SumatranTigers aretodaystil predominatelyhunted using
wiresnares (Anon, 2002; FFI-ID,pers.comm.to TRAFFIC, 2002;WWF-ID, pers.comm. to TRAFFIC,
2002).There are two types of snares used;spring loaded leg-hold snaresand alsoneck snares.
Tigers are primarily hunted using a traditional wire cable leg hold snare. Although there can be some
minor regional variations in the methodsormaterials used forsnaring, by and largethedescriptionsthat
folow wil hold truethroughoutal regions of Sumatra (FFI-ID,pers.comm.to TRAFFIC, 2002; WWF-
ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). These snares are simple, cheap and yet highly efective. This
method of hunting alows teams of hunters to set 60 or more snares per day providing maximum
coverage of an areain an efort to catch Tigers withvery litle financial cost, physical exertionorrisk of
being caught(Anon., pers comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002).
4. Pit traps
PittrapsarerarelyusedtohuntTigers.There areseveral reasonsfor this.The firstreasonisthatalthough
making a pit trap is cheap it is very labour intensive. Digging pits that are large anddep requires time.
The more time an individual must spend in the protected area, the greater the likelihood they may be
caught. At the same timethehunter cannot set as many trapswhich reduces the probability of catching
a Tiger (60snares canbeset inonedaywhereasasingle pit trap maytake several daysto dig). Pittraps
may be used for elephants andrhino as wel as Tigers (WWF-ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002).
5. Box traps
Treep (1973) wrote, “In Sumatra the local population captures Tigers, at least when they become a
nuisanceforthepeople, bymeansof cage-traps. The trap is a “room”madeofpoles(approximately3.25
mlong,0.60m wide,andapproximately 1.30 mhigh); within it, a living bait(e.g.,agoat), tied upatthe
back. When the Tigerenters the trap,it setsin action a mechanism which shutsthe door. Beforeusethe
traps are inaugurated byaDukun.Klees(1920) mentions nine Tigerscapturedthat way inPadang, West
Sumatra.” Treep (1973) also notes a 1914 Dutch colonial report of 100 Tigers captured over a 6 year
period in 60box traps. Santiapilai and Ramono(1985) relate news reportsof“Tiger charmers”in Aceh
province live-trapping over 64 Tigers over the space of a few months. While no further information
regarding this method of trapping was found during this survey, itshould be noted thatoneinjuredTiger
was captured in this way by vilagers in 1997 (Se ‘ATiger Caled Tele’, Box 3 Chapter 5) in North
3.2. Incidental kiling of Tigers
Many Sumatran hunters set snares to catch other species, including bears, which are also valued in
traditionalAsianmedicine,butalso ungulates, preyspeciesof Tigers, whichhumansalsolike toeat.And
since where there are Tiger prey species there are likely to be Tigers, these snares can also kil Tigers,
unintended by the hunter. Snares placed near agricultural areas to catch crop-raiding animals like der
to control Wild Pig and der populations (FFI-ID in lit. to TRAFFIC, 2001; FFI-ID, pers. comm. to
TRAFFIC, 2002; WWF-ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). This can be considered accidental or
incidental kiling of Tigers.
Snares set for the smaler animals with light cable or strong nylon cord are often not strong enough to
hold a Tiger (FFI-ID in lit. to TRAFFIC, 2001). On occasion the Tiger may escape a snare, often
sufering debilitating wounds (See‘ATiger Caled Tele’, Box 3 chapter 5). These woundedanimals are
likely to become the area’s next ‘problem Tigers’ as wounded animals often can no longer catch their
regular prey and thereforeturntosimpler prey such as domesticanimals including catle, goatsanddogs.
However,theonesthat do notescape are eithertaken tozoos, or morelikely kiledand sold.
Acording to information provided primarilyby FFI-ID,atotal of12 Tigers werereportedlyacidentaly
captured in snares setfor other species,especialy wild pigs, betwen late 1999 and mid 2002(Table 5).
Ten of the 12 Tigers listed in Table 5 were kiled or died, and the remaining two posibly escaped. The
FFI-ID reports indicate at least four Tigers per year are incidentaly kiled, rather than on purpose.
However, this figure islikely to be anunderestimateof the total number of Tigers kiled in this manner,
This indicates thataslong as snare-huntingfor other speciescontinues, Tigerswil continue to be caught
incidentaly, and potentialy enterinto trade.
Table 5. Tigers as incidental kilings
CaseReceivedAreaSourceBriefdetails and results
Tiger kiled Late 1999Sungai Pelakar, FFI-ID, 2003Tigerkiled insnare set
accidentaly in Sarolanggun,Jambifor Wild Pig by oil palm
Witneses confirm the
manager wassacked for
kiling the tiger.
Tiger dies in2000TabirHulu,Merangin FFI-ID, 2003Tigercaught in Sambar
deer snare MerangindistrictDeer snare set by hunter
seeking meat for the
at endof fasting month
Tiger caught inSeptemberDesa Kuta Balang,FFI-ID-SECPReport ofvilagers
pigsnare2000TapanuliTengah,and KSDAI,obtaining atiger caught
North Sumatera2002and kiledin a wild pig
Tiger caught in November Desa Mambang BaruFFI-ID-SECPA tiger responsible for a
pigtrap2000Kec. Batang Toru Kab. and KSDAI,non-fatal atack ona local
TapanuliSelatan,2002man wassnared by a
Nort Sumatrapig trap.
Tiger kiled inSeptember Desa Kuta Balang,FFI-ID-SECP
snare2000TapanuliTengah,Survey Team,Vilager reported that a
North SumatraSept 2002tiger hadbeen trappedin
a WildPig trap.
Man atacked November Desa MambangFFI-ID-SECPTigercaught in a Wild
when tiger 2000Baru Kec. BatangSurvey Team,Pig snarebut it escaped
caughtin snareToruKab. TapanuliSept. 2002causing some bite and
Selatan, North Sumatrascratch wouldto one
Tiger kiledApril 2000LubukLinggau,FFI-ID, 2003Farmer reportedincident
accidentaly in SouthSumatrato TNKS butwhen
snarerangers wentto site,
carcas had gone
Threetigers July-Aug 2001 North BengkuluFFI-ID, 2003Roting peltsfound (no
kiled (snares)district,Bengkulubone) ofthree tigers(plus
4 tapirs) inonesnare line
poachers had not
checked their snares til3.3. Human-Tiger conflict
Tigersposeathreattohumansaswelastheirlivestock.Many partsofSumatrahavehighlevels ofTiger-
human conflict, situations in which large numbers of people as wel as Tigers have been kiled (Nowel,
2000). This has a long history: Trep (1973) includes a number of early 20th century descriptions of
incidents where Tigers kiled people, or their livestock,andweresubsequentlyhuntedandkiled.Atthe
1992SumatranTiger PHVAWorkshop, IndonesianForestry oficials estimated that,on average, about17
incidentsinvolvingproblems withTigersarereported everyyear from thefivenational parks of Sumatra.
Of these 17 instances, about 12 resulted in Tiger loses: about six through poaching or poisoning and
another six through oficial removal with government involvement (Tilson and Traylor-Holzer, 1994).
Nowadays, human-wildlife conflict “has reached a critical level”, posing a serious threat to animal
conservation (Nazir Foead of WWF-ID, quoted in the Jakarta Post, Sept. 28, 2002).Forexample,Tigers
kiledat least six and posibly as manyas30 people inoneareaofRiau provincefrom2000-2003; seven
forestreserve (Anon. 2003e, Paddock, 2004).
Adi Susmianto, director of Indonesia’sNational Biodiversity Reference Unit was quoted as stating“The
conflict ismostly driven bypeople’s activitiesinforests” (Jakarta Post,Sept. 28, 2002). Inded,themost
recent Tigeratackin Riauprovincetookthelife ofanilegal logger (Paddock,2004).As plantationsand
logging removeforest and vilagerspush their cultivated areas furtherandfurther into the Tigers’habitat,
the number ofconflictsincreases.Furthermore, theareasnear newly setledvilagesare quicklyemptied
of the Tiger’s main prey species, especialy deer. It appears that many of the Tigers in tradewere kiled
or captured as aresultoftheir conflict withman(Jakarta Post, Sept.28, 2002).
Table6 suggeststhatatleast 17Tigershave beenreported askiledin Sumatrafrom1997-2002,withtwo
additionalTigerbeing trappedandposiblykiledandanother twobeingcapturedlive and givento zoos.
Many of these Tigers were caught in snares, while others were shot. Ten humans were kiled and a
further eightwoundedby Tigers duringthissameperiod.Furthermore, therewere23 incidents ofTigers
preying on domesticated animals, the majority of these being dogs, with one Tiger taking over 40 dogs
overa period of time.
Unfortunately these numbers likelyreflect only aportion of the true totalannual number of Tigers kiled
or captured eachyearasa result of conflict with humans. This report has colected additional reports of
Tiger-human conflict which indicate that government statistics (included in Appendix 1) are incomplete
(Appendix 1 and Anon., 2003e). Moreover, through anecdotal evidence it has ben suggested that park
authorities often turnablind eye toreports of Tigerkilings toprotect humanlives or to protectlivestock
(WWF-ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). However, as hunting Tigers is ilegal, Tiger kilings often
go unreported even if the initial atackon humans or livestock was reported.Thisis further complicated
by the fact that there is curently no scheme in place to compensate vilagers for los of property or life
inthe eventof a Tiger atack.Thismeansthat theilegal saleof a Tiger kiled after it comes into conflict
withhumansis the only way locals might recuperate loses.
It would appear from the data that human Tiger conflict is greatest in the province of West Sumatra as
over 80percent of Tiger atacks ocuredthere within the last three years. West Sumatrahas one of the
most active Tiger conservation and Protection Unit programs and several NGOs, but especialy FFI-ID,
colect detailed information wheneverposible,whichis lacking for otherregionsin Sumatra (Appendix
1).Thelackofcomprehensivedatafor theotherprovincesdoesnotnecesarilyindicate thathuman-Tiger
conflict is les than in West Sumatra, or that fewer Tigers are kiled or captured for this reason. Many
people interviewed by TRAFFIC in Aceh province indicated high levels of human-Tiger conflict;
other hand, Nyhus et al. (1999) caried out an intensive monitoring program around Way Kambas
National Park and found a surprisingly low level of conflict, “in stark contrast to the rest of Sumatra.”
Mitigation and management of human-Tiger conflict is esential to the wel-being of the communities
livingaround Tiger populations andfor the conservation of Sumatran Tiger. Vilagers, commercial agro
forestry workers andforest product colectors, who most oftencome into conflictwith Tigers,often feel
the only resolution is to remove the threat by either kiling or trans-locating the problem animal.
Removing the problem Tigers does not sem to be a viable long-term solution, and real steps towards
reducing this conflict wilrequirebeter education forthepeople living in ruralareas regarding livestock
management, and beter planning of land use andother practices.
Tigers that atack humans, preyon livestock,take up residence in farmland or move into a vilage are
likely to be kiled by vilagers trying to protect themselves and their livelihoods. In atempting to deal
with these problems on their own, poisoned bait is often used by vilagers to eliminate problem Tigers
(WWF-ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). In situations where vilagers are content to wait for
problem Tigers to move away poachers are often quick to ofer their services resulting in the deaths of
Tigers that could otherwise haveben avoided(FFI-ID inlit. toTRAFFIC, 2003). Poachers who come
to a vilage ofering to kil problem Tigers usualy only want the Tiger and do not request additional
payment.Alternatively,acommunity mayhireaprofesionalhuntertodestroyproblem animals.Insuch
cases the hunter may be paid a feeranging from IDR500 000 –2 000000 (USD 56-225)orhemay take
the skin depending onthe wishes of the community (WWF-ID in lit.to TRAFFIC, 2000). In February
2002, local television aired a news clip regarding a Tiger that had kiled more than forty dogs in the
province of West Sumatra. Les than a day and a half later thre groups of hunters approached the
vilage ofering to ‘resolve’theproblem posed bytheTiger (WWF-ID, pers.comm.to TRAFFIC, 2002).
Table 6. Records of human-Tiger conflicts by Province, 1997-2002
kiled (captured)fatalitieswoundedatacks against
1997-981FFI-SECPsurvey team. Sept.
19991FFI-SECPsurvey team. Sept.
20001, (1)3FFI-SECPsurvey team. Sept.
2002; KSDAUnit I,Pak Ambar
20011KSDA UnitI, PakAmbar
200231FFI-SECPsurvey team. Sept.
2002; KSDAUnit I,Pak Ambar
19971*1FFI-SECPsurvey team. Sept.
1999212FFI-SECPsurvey team. Sept.
20001FFI-SECPsurvey team. Sept.
200111FFI-SECPsurvey team. Sept.
2000226FFI-ID tigerprogres report,
20014, 1*7FFI-ID tigerprogres report,
2001; FFI-ID, 2003
20022Jakarta Post,June 18, 2002
20021, (1)5Reuters, Nov. 07,2002
TOTALS 17, 2*,(2)10823
*Trapped but not confirmed tobekiled
()Trapped liveandplaced inzoos
Figure 3. Outcome of human-Tigerconflict incidents known in sixsub-districts in Jambi
between 2001 and 2002.
iget 3tigers not kiled
Bangko Gunung Gunung MuaraSungai Sungai
Source: FFI-ID inlit to TRAFFIC, 2002
In Jambi four Sumatran Tigers are known to have been kiled out of a total of 12 cases of human-Tiger
conflictsin2000-2001(Figure 3).Theremainingeight animalsmay havebeenkiled, butif so,thiswent
unreported,orescaped persecution. However,recentlyvilagerswhoencounterconflictwithaTigerhave
begun to cal local Tiger conservation and protection units for aid instead of atempting to take maters
into their own hands (FFI-ID, pers.comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). The major problemwith Tiger-human
conflictsistheIndonesiaurban perceptionofthe Tiger is thatitis a “savage animal”.These perceptions
are increasingly eroding traditional beliefs about Tigers and its beneficialrelationshipwith communities
(FFI-ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). Curently it is felt that an immediate proactive response by
Tiger protection and conservation units can be extremely useful in mitigating conflict (FFI-ID, pers.
comm.to TRAFFIC, 2002).
The Indonesian government has had a long-standing policy that when conflict arises, they wil provide
asistance to live-trapthe problem Tiger and remove itfrom the area (Tilson and Traylor-Holzer, 1994).
If they are sucesful, the question then remains what are they to do with the animal? In the past, the
problem Tigers were put into zoos, particularly the large Taman Safari Zoo on Java, which has over 30
SumatranTigers, manyofwhich areproblemTigerslive trappedbyateamof hunters specialyorganized
by the zoo (Box 2).However, this onlyprovides a temporary solution to the problem.
Throughout Sumatra, zoos aresorely overcrowded and many cagesfor housing wildlife are ina terible
state of disrepair (TRAFFIC, pers. obs. 2002). Zoos cannot continue to take in a multitude of problem
animals when theybarelyhave resources totakecareof theanimals theyalready have(Drh. AnharLubis,
Medan Zoo, pers comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). As one of the main atractions, Tigers in these zoos are
exposed to hundreds of thousands of human visitors each year. Human acclimatization is inevitable
making it highly unlikely that Tigers can be safely reintroduced from facilities such as these to the wild
wheretheyareexpected to live inharmony with theirhumanneighbours.
Box 2 Tiger claims the life of five people in Riau province
In August,Riauresidents angryoverthedeathsoffourlocalslauncheda searchfor aman-eatingtiger.
They caughtand kiled a veryyoungtigerand kiled they thoughtwas responsible. Unfortunately they
were wrong, as two weeks lateranother man was found dead.
Seeking theasistanceof profesional tiger hunters a teamfrom SafariParkZoo inCisarua was sent
to help. A243-pound,7-year-oldtigerwas capturedin September. After longnegotiationswith locals
who wanted to exactrevengeby kiling the tigerteam members werealowedto takethetiger backto
the Zoowhere it is hoped in the future hecan become astud fortheir breedingcentre.
Source: (Reuters,November 07, 2002)
The Ministry of Forestry and the STCP are evaluating the establishment of aTiger Rescue Centre. This
is envisioned as a holding facility for problem Tigers, a place which wil always be open for problem
Tigers so that accommodation arangements do notcontinualy ned to be madeon acase-by-casebasis
(Anon., 2002b). It is hoped to translocate problem Tigers to other blocks of habitat far from people,
although such areas are becoming increasingly few in Sumatra. In 2003, this strategy was tried for the
first time. For the previous two years, the area around the town of Dumai, Riau province had ben
sufering serious levels of human-Tiger conflict, as noted in Box 2. Altogether, perhaps as many as 30
people,and numerous livestock, were kiled by Tigers, and seven Tigers kiled by people, with another
six captured and removed to zoos. In an unprecedented initiative by the mayor of Dumai, logging
concesionswere suspended in a 600 km2 region of Sungai Sembilan district, near Dumai,and this area
was formaly declared as the Senepis Tiger Conservation Area in August 2003. Further Tiger atacks in
September to October 2003 resulted in the los of nine goats and two cows, and the local people
demanded that the problem Tiger be removed. Working together, the local conservation authorities and
the STCPlive-trappedtwo adult male Tigers and translocated them to the new Tiger Conservation Area.
The Tigers are monitored by camera traps set up in thearea, and a management plan isbeingdeveloped
for the area, with plans to incorporate radio-colaring to beter monitor the movements and fate of
translocated problem Tigers (Anon., 2003e).
A solution more likely to succeed in reducing human-Tiger conflict in the long term would focus on
changing atitudes and taking preventative measures. Public education is important for this. For
exampleplantationworkersshouldnotgotothe plantationand catle should bekeptinpaddocksbetwen
7amand9amandat night,asitisfound thatTigerscomeouttohuntduringthesetimesandpeople should
travelin groups inareas where there might be Tigers.
3.4. Estimating the total number of Sumatran Tigers kiled and removed
Knowledge of the levels of Tiger poaching throughout Sumatra (number of Tigers kiled each year) is
criticalinformationforTigerconservation. TilsonandTraylor-Holzer(1994)estimated that42Tigers per
year were removed from the population in the early 1990s: six being problem Tigers live-trapped and
removed from the wild by PHKA, and an estimated 36 being ilegaly kiled, primarily for trade. Since
then no comprehensive estimates have been atempted for the total annual number of Sumatran Tigers
kiledthroughout the island.
One of the most detailed databases of curent and historic Tiger poaching cases has been published
recently bythe STCP(2003),working in BukitTigapuluhNationalPark.Intensiveefort in 2003wasput
intodevelopingan informant network,and throughmanyinterviewswith local peopledetailedestimates
were put together for the number of Tigers poached in BTNP for a 30 year period, from 1972-2003
(Figure3). Their informationindicates that approximately 305 Tigers were poached from BTNP during
that period,atanaverage rateof10 per year. Theyestimate that32 diferent poaching gangs were active
intheareaduring thisperiod.Apeakinpoaching activity(numberofpoachersorpoachinggroups active)
was noted during the 1980s, a decade characterized by unprecedented rates of land conversion and
loggingin Riau province.
Figure 4. Estimated number of Tigerspoached in the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park and
surounding areas, 1972-2003 (Anon., 2003d)
Inordertoprovideaworkingestimate forthetotalnumber ofSumatranTigerskiledor capturedinrecent
years, we have puled together data colected from a number of diferent sources, including data
colected by NGO’s (FFI-ID, WWF-ID, WCS and STCP), government agencies and newspapers. In a
few cases NGOs have published detailed data in their reports, but generaly this information is kept in
unpublished databases and was personaly communicatedto TRAFFIC. Idealy, reports of Tigers kiled
can be verified by the presence of an actual Tiger carcas, but in many cases reports of Tiger deaths are
second-hand. Due to the many sources of data, we carefuly inspected detailed accounts of each Tiger
kiled to try toeliminateduplicate data.In the eventofuncertainty, we have atempted toer on the side
As shown in Table 7, an estimated 253 Sumatran Tigers were kiled or live-trapped from 1998-2002, at
an average of 51 Tigers per year. On the face of it, this suggests that removal rates for Tigers have not
changed much over the past decade, despite major increases in Tiger protection eforts in the late1990s.
However, it is dificult to be certain about this conclusion. First, Tilson and Traylor-Holzer’s (1994)estimate of42 Tigersperyearwas an estimate, and is likelytobeof bysome unknownfactor.Secondly,
the numbers may to some degree reflect the intensity of conservation efort – numbers in Riau, West
Sumatra, Jambi and Lampung are highest, but these are also areas with major Tiger conservation
programs(SeeSection 1.1.).Other districts where thereisles activeTiger conservationefort may have
higher numbersofTigerskiledwhichgoundetected. Inparticular,civilunrestinAcehdetersmonitoring
and Tiger protection in this province, which was formerly recognized as a stronghold for Tigers (Treep,
1973). The city of Medan in North Sumatra was found by this survey to be one of Sumatra’s main
markets for Tiger parts and products (se Section 4.1.1.), which suggests that Tiger poaching may be
higher in North Sumatra and Acehthanindicated by thedata.
Table 7. Estimated numberof Sumatran Tigersremoved from eight provinces, 1998-2002
*Eighten Tigers, or 8%of thetotal,were not kiledbutwere problemanimalstrappedaliveandremoved
North Sumatra114n/an/a62.4FFI-SECP, 2002;
West Sumatra214351236513FFI-tiger progres
South Sumatra2412n/a91.8WWF-ID, 2002
WCS ID, 2003
from the wild.
Totals for the province of Riau were sourced from records from both STCP and WWF-ID, with the
higher counts from either organization being used in the totals given in Table 7. The records of Tigers
removed from the wild, as recorded in Table 7, were taken from a number of unpublished sources and
carefuly examined toavoidduplication.
An example of the efect of intensified Tiger conservation eforts can besen in West Sumatra. In1998
only two Tigers were known to have ben kiled in this province. During this time members of the
FFI-ID Kerinciteamconductingsurveysand cameratrappingbeganto record a risein numbers ofTigers
poached (FFI-ID,pers.comm.toTRAFFIC,2002). In 1999, the number rose to 14animals. Then inthe
year 2000, whenFFI-IDbegan patrolingandenforcement activities inKerinci Seblat National Park,the
number of Tigers confirmed kiled rose dramaticaly to 35. This increase is not necesarily a result of
increased poachingactivity, but in largedue to the tremendous efort FFI-ID made to uncover poaching
and the ilegal Tiger trade. However, in 2001 and subsequently in 2002, the number of Tigers kiled in
West Sumatra decreased to les than half the number of Tigers kiled in 2000. As FFI-ID has made a
consistent efort during this time to uncover poaching and ilegal trade, it is likely that this provincial
decreasein thetotal number of Tigers kiled isaresultoftheiranti-poaching and Tiger protection eforts
in the area.
Thirdly, despite the proven track record of Indonesian authorities of tolerance and lenience towards
individuals who kil Tigers because of human-Tiger conflict (FFI-ID in lit. to TRAFFIC, 2001; FFI-ID
in lit. to TRAFFIC, 2003), kiling a Tiger is ilegal, and many deaths go unreported to the authorities
becauseoffearof reprisal(WWF-ID,pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002).Further, because ofthesecretive
nature of poaching Tigers it is unlikely that investigators would discover al Tigers kiled in any given
year (WWF-ID, pers.comm.to TRAFFIC,2002). Thesecretivenature of theTiger tradein combination
with fear and suspicion, and inconsistent and incomplete reporting, makes gathering and compiling
acurate detailed information onTigerpoaching an extremely dificult task(FFI-ID inlit. to TRAFFIC,
2003). Profesional and semi-profesional poachers have pre-existing networks of buyers established
through which Tiger products are easilyand quietly moved (WWF-ID, pers.comm.to TRAFFIC, 2002).
Although the use of undercover investigators in recent years to gather data on poaching of Tigers has
providedresearcherswithawealthofinformationnotpreviouslyavailable,it is imposibleforocasional
surveysby undercover agents todetect al of the Tigerskiled annualy. The relatively large scalewhich
Tigers are traded on and the apparent lack of regularity with which investigators gather information
further complicate this. Therefore,it islikely that the data inTable 7 underestimate the total number of
Finaly, there were numerous discrepancies in the 1998-2002 data, which makes it dificult to ascertain
how accurate the count of Tiger removals is. These discrepancies highlight the importance of having a
centraly and carefuly managed Tiger database (se Recommendations). During data colection for this
project, researchers posing as buyers and acompanying undercover investigators from other NGOs and
discovered a lack of consistency in their reporting. During the proces of writing investigators found a
number of inconsistencies in data for the total number of Tigers kiled annualy. The data used in this
report was thereforeanalysed thoroughly and cautiouslyto avoidduplication.Itis likely thatthenumber
ofTigers kiled annualy is higherthanestimated in this report.
It has previously ben suggested that Tigers kiled as a result of conflict with humans are the primary
source for Tiger parts and products sen in trade from North Sumatra (Plowden and Bowles, 1997).
Anecdotal information given to TRAFFIC by interviewees in Aceh province also coroborates the
importance of Tigers kiled as a result of conflict as a source for Tiger parts in trade. However, on an
island-wide basis it appears that the number of Tigers kiled for commercial gain far outweighs the
numbersofTigers kiled as a result of conflict. From Table6,atleast17 Tigers are known to have been
kiled from 1998-2002 as a result of human-Tiger conflict. Another 18 Tigers were live-trapped during
thisperiod,probablyasaresultofhuman-Tigerconflictaswel.Thisis atotalof 35Tigerremovalslikely
to be a direct result of human-Tigerconflict, butitis just 14% ofthetotal number of Tigerskiled during
this period. As discused previously, an average of at least four Tigers per year are thought to be kiled
acidentaly, as incidental kilings, in traps set for other species. Subtracting the incidental kilings,
estimates stil leaves the apparent motive for the remaining78% of deadTigers, at least 198 Tigers over
a fiveyearperiod, as poaching for trade.
Tigers in conflict with people constitute a local problem likely to be a feature of conservation
management for as long as Tigers and people continue to compete for space and sustenance. Parts of
Sumatra do sufer high levels of human-Tiger conflict, and it is important that the conservation
community continue to work toward developing succesful solutions to this problem. Population
dynamics models suggest that Tiger populations may be resilient to steady low of-takes (Karanth and
Stith, 1999), such as would be expected toarise from human-Tiger conflicts. Commercial poaching,on
the other hand, islikely to result in higherof-takes, increasing the chancesof sharp population declines
or extinction of vulnerable Tiger populations (Kenney et al., 1994). Kenney et al. (1994) emphasize,
moreover, that “it is unwise to be complacent even if anti-poaching eforts are succesful,” since the
demographic consequences of poaching might not be immediately obvious and extinction may ocur
many years after poaching is reduced or eliminated.
Data colected by this survey indicates that
Sumatran Tigers are being kiled and removed
at an average rate of at least 51 Tigers per year
Asiaover thepastfiveyears.Withatotal population
estimated at 400-500 Tigers (Seidensticker et
al., 1999), this implies that at least 10% are
being lost every year. As discused above,
TRAFICSoutheastalthoughthis estimate ofcurent Tiger loses is
the most comprehensive to date, for many
reasons it is likely to be an undercount, and
:ChrisShepherd/annuallosesarelikelytobe greater. Inorder to
editbe most useful, it is important to link Tiger
ASumatran Tiger taken from the wild afterdeaths to Tiger populations in order to evaluate
having been crippled by snares. The tigertheir impact, since most Sumatran Tiger
was placed in the Medan Zoo in Northpopulations are isolated from each other, and
Sumatra.thepopulation dynamics of each wil difer.
At the 1992SumatranTiger PHVAWorkshop, itwas estimated that approximately 42 Tigerswere kiled
or removedeachyear onanannual basis, with 12, or 29%,the result of human-Tiger conflict (Tilson and
Traylor-Holzer, 1994). This survey estimates that approximately 51 Tigers peryear have ben kiled or
removed from 1998-2002,with 14% the result of human-Tiger conflict. Given the speculativenature of
the earlier estimate, and the likely under-reporting of the curent estimate, it is not posible to conclude
that human-Tiger conflicts have decreased. Theonly certain conclusionis that there is no evidencethat
Tiger poaching fortrade has declined significantlysince theearly 1990s, despite intensifiedconservation
and protection measures in Sumatra over the past decade, and apparent succes globaly in curtailing
markets for Tiger bone. This survey of Tigers kiled in Sumatra indicates that poaching for trade is
responsible for the vast majority (over 78%) of estimated Tiger deaths, at least 40 per year and posibly
4. The market: Ilegal trade in Sumatran Tiger parts and
Historicaly, the Tiger’s skin is described of being the product of primary commercial value in Sumatra
(Trep,1973),with prices ranging fromUSD 1000inthe1970s(Borner, 1978)toUSD 3000inthe 1980s
(Santiapilai and Ramono, 1985). When new conservation legislation was enacted, the government
required people already in posesion of endangered species products to register these with the
authorities. Some 1081 stufed Tiger mounts were registered in Indonesia (Tilson and Traylor-Holzer,
1994), demonstrating the existence of a sizeable domestic marketfor Tiger skins.
At the 1992 SumatranTiger PHVA workshop, a number of anecdotal reports were compiled concerning
trade in Tiger parts in Sumatra (Tilson and Traylor-Holzer, 1994). A former poacher interviewed in
Padang, West Sumatra, in 1992 said that Tiger products were smuggled to Singapore with relative ease.
An earlier report of Sumatran Tiger skins for sale in Singapore surfaced in 1988, when a British
journalist was ofered Tiger skins and told he could be supplied with 10 pelts per month, mostly from
Sumatran Tigers. In 1993 a restaurant in the city of Pekanbaru, the capital of South Sumatra province,
whichhas a largeethnic Chinese population, oferedTiger meat to agroup of Chinese tourists as oneof
its courses. A Jakarta taxidermist ofered a complete Sumatran Tiger skin (reputedly wild-caught from
Jambi, South Sumatra) for IDR 5 milion (USD 2500) in 1994, which included an oficial permit from
PHKAlegaly registeringthisspecimeninIndonesia.TheTigerskinwithoutthe permitwould have only
cost IDR 1 milion (USD 500). He also ofered a sack of Tiger leg bones for IDR 300 000/kg (USD
250/kg) as wel as claws and canine teeth from Tigers for IDR 40 000 (USD 20) each. This individual
statedthat most ofhis customers were fromThailandor South Korea.
Until this report, there has only been one systematic survey of Sumatran markets for Tiger products,
caried outin North Sumatra in 1995 (Plowden and Bowles,1997). They concluded,“No evidence was
found that there is organized poaching for Tigers or for the international trade in bones used in oriental
medicine. However,itisapparent thatmany Tigerskiledopportunisticalyor deliberatelyby farmers are
being fed into a commercial domestic market for Tiger bones, teth,claws and skins. This iscentred on
the gold shops in the main communities in Sumatra.” This was a somewhat surprising result given the
history of large exports of Tiger bone from Indonesia to South Korea from the mid-1970s to the early
1990s (Mils 1993: se Section 1.2.). It is also surprising given the wholesale nature of the Tiger bone
trade that they documented in 1995: Tiger bone was being sold by the kg in seven out of the sixty-three
gold shops surveyed, or 11% of the gold shops in North Sumatra. Several of these had complete Tiger
skeletons, which they alowed the investigators to examine and weigh. On the other hand, only one of
the nine traditional Asian medicine shops they surveyed ofered smal quantities of Tiger bone
preparationsforretailcustomers(7%ofshopssurveyed). Although stafat theothershops haddenied it,
the shop ownercaryingTigerboneclaimed thatother traditional medicine shopsin Medanalso stocked
Tiger bone.Plowden and Bowles(1997)also found gold(eight outof63:13%) and souvenir shops (one
out of seven: 14%) seling canine teth and claws.
For this project, TRAFFIC caried out extensive island-wide surveys of a variety of retail outlets,
including souvenir shops, gold shops and traditional Asian medicine shops. We also conducted
interviews with individual traders, middlemen and Tiger poachers. In this section, we describe the
market structurefor Tiger parts inSumatra and analyze the results of our market surveys indetail.
4.1. Market structure
In Sumatra theTigerhunters sometimeslive very close to the protected areas they poachfrom (i.e. they
are primarily local vilagers). However, Tiger hunters also include police, military, and the local
shooting/huntingasociations.Hunters sometimesworkinteamsand typicaly,aftera Tigeris kiled,the
body is divided betwen members of the hunting team. Depending on whether the hunter is
opportunistic or is a profesional he may havea buyer already lined upor he may have to waitto find a
While waiting for potentialbuyers,itis reported thatbonesare oftenburiedandskins areleftin a secure
location.Results ofinterviews indicated hunters might not always kep skins at their home.On several
occasions during this survey, when talking to hunters near protected areas where Tiger(s) had ben
poached,individuals were senttofetchskinsfromsecurelocations.Ifskinsare keptat thehunter’shome
they are often stored in sealed pails of preservative (D. Martyr, pers. comm. to
TRAFFIC,2002). Due toincreased enforcementeforts by the local authorities,some dealers takeextra
caution whenseling Tiger parts.Curently huntersin West Sumatra wilnot deliverTiger partsuntilal
the goods havebeenfuly paidfor.Poachersare safeintheirvilage andcannot bearestedthere because
of the lawlesnesthat has become commonplace insomeplaces withinIndonesia (FFI-ID, pers. comm.
to TRAFFIC, 2002), making enforcement eforts dificult. In the curentpolitical and social climate, to
makeanarest,authorities must convince a hunter ordealerto leavehis vilageandcometo a designated
place where it is safe for the police to arest him.Vilagers wil defend each otherto the point ofkiling
anyone who enters the vilage to arest a member of the vilage or cause
problems (FFI-ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). Inother areas where enforcement is lacking, parts
are openly displayed forsale in shops.
Figure 5shows thestructure of thetrade of TigerpartsinSumatra. Middlemen or brokerseitherhelpthe
hunters to find a buyer or buy directly forresale. In the later case the middleman usualy has potential
buyer organized, perhaps a long time client. Middlemen may also sel to a district buyer (FFI-ID, pers.
comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). For example, in Banko, West Sumatra, district buyers purchase Tiger parts
from middlemen who buy directly from vilagers near Kerinci-Seblat National Park. In Bukitinggi
districtbuyers may sel teth, claws or of cuts of pelts or entireskins (oftenleser quality merchandise)
toretailersfor sale to tourists (FFI-ID, pers. comm. toTRAFFIC, 2002).
Almost al district level dealers in Tiger products are dealers in other wildlife products, in particular
Agarwood Aquilaria spp. (also known as gaharu), freshwater turtles and tortoises, snake skins and
edible swiftlet nests. In Bandar Lampung reptile dealers are the main dealers of Tiger skins (WWF-ID,
pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002).In addition to colectingturtles, snakes and monitor lizards thesemen
alsoopportunisticaly hunt Tigers. Alongwith localvilagehunters, theyare the primary dealersofTiger
part and skins, as they have the trade routes for ilicit wildlife and contacts already established. The
majority sel directlyto provincialleveldealers but in West Sumatra at least two are known to have sold
directly toJakarta andotherpartsof Java(FFI-ID,pers.comm. toTRAFFIC, 2002). FFI-IDhas received
narative reports of a market in Surabaya and Bandung, Java, (the later is said to be a traditional Asian
medicineproduction centre),aswelas, anumberofreportsof Tigerskinsandbone beingsoldtoamajor
dealer in Bali who subsequently exports pelts and bone (FFI-ID, pers. comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002). The
final destination of these exports is not known.
From the district dealers the Tiger parts are moved relatively quickly to provincial dealers in Jambi,
Palembang, Bandar Lampung, Padang,and Pekanbaru.Provincial dealers haveholding facilities where
Tiger parts are accumulated, usualy in a “safe house” or warehouse, until buyers come along or until a
shipment is ready to gooverseas(FFI-ID,pers.comm. to TRAFFIC, 2002).
InIndonesia, the end users of Tiger skins arevery often police or military. TheygiveTiger skins as gifts
to their superior oficers in hopes of climbing the ranks more quickly. This is apparently a very
long-standing traditionthat goes backtothemonarchy of Indonesia. Although there is nomonarchy it is
practiced amongst the military and to a much leser extent the police, as noted in Figure 5. Tiger parts
also leave Indonesia for international markets.
Althoughit is suspectedthat most of theTiger products exportedfromIndonesia gothroughSingaporeit
is stil not clear how much remains in Singapore and how much continues on to other international
4.2. Market surveys
Throughout the eight provinces of Sumatra, a total of 24 towns and cities were surveyed in 2002,
recording 484 observationsfrom shops anddealersources in 2002. Only seven towns in thissurvey did
not have Tiger parts for sale (29% of towns),but in the other 17 towns a total of 117 shops and dealers,
or25%ofthose surveyed overal, were found to have Tiger parts for sale,asrecorded in Appendix 2.A
totalof453 retail shopsweresurveyed,andof these 19% (86) were observedto have Tiger parts for sale.
Table 8showsthe maintypesofretailoutletsurveyed,withthepercentagehaving Tigerproducts for sale.
Sumatra: 8 provinces and
Similartothe previous 1995survey(Plowden and Bowles,1997)inNorthSumatra,TRAFFIC foundone
traditional Asian medicine shop in Medan city stocking Tiger bone (the owner claimed to stock a smal
quantity, but was uncomfortable discusing the subject and would not show it to the TRAFFIC
investigator). TRAFFICalsofoundseveral gold shops in NorthSumatra– andonly inNorth Sumatra –
selingwholesalequantitiesof Tigerboneby thekg. One shop hadacomplete skeleton. AroundSumatra,
TRAFFIC found gold and souvenir shopsseling Tigerclaws,canine teeth, and skinpieces. Ofal retail
outlets, antique shops had the highest availability of Tiger parts, mainly canines and claws, and it is
posible thattheir oferings are antiqueratherthanofrecent origin.
In addition to the retail outlets surveyed, thirty-one dealer contacts were made, and al had either Tiger
parts for sale, information on Tiger parts, or claimed to be able to obtain Tiger parts. Most of the Tiger
boneandwholeTiger skins observed orreportedduring this surveywereoferedin a clandestinefashion
through various types of dealers, ranging from poachers to middlemen to taxidermists. This strongly
suggests that there is a substantial underground trade in Tiger parts in Sumatra, which does not depend
upon retail outlets to openly display these items.
Table 8. Availability of Tiger products in retail outlets in Sumatra
TypeofretailoutletTotalnumbersurveyedPercent havingtiger partsor
Gold and gemsshop33113%
Traditional Asian medicineshop128%
Jamu medicine andmagic shop1100%
Table 9. Main types of Tiger parts observed during 2002 market surveys
TigerpartorproductTotalnumberobservedPercent of total observed
Bone8 (= 8 cases)2%