Indonesian Groups and APP Demonstrate Power of Partnership in Safe Rescue and Relocation of Endangered Sumatran Tiger
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 04 August 2011— Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) releases rarely seen video of a Sumatran Tiger taking her first steps towards a new life after her relocation to Betet Island in South Sumatra on Tuesday, August 2, 2011.
This exclusive footage and accompanying images were captured by Alain Compost, an independent wildlife photographer, film maker and conservationist, hiding in camouflage just feet from where the endangered cat was released. Compost sat frozen in place with camera in hand under a sweltering sun for more than an hour to keep from distracting the tiger before her release. The Republic of Indonesia’s Minister of Forestry Mr. Zulkifli Hasan, watching from a nearby boat, pulled a rope that opened the cage door. Within minutes the 7-year-old Sumatran Tiger named Putri, meaning Princess in Indonesian, quietly walked out of her cage and strolled into her new home of Sembilang National Park, marking the end to months of hard work and dedication to a painstaking process involving numerous local and central government organizations, wildlife and conservation experts, private companies and NGOs.
Mr. Hasan was joined by representatives of The Natural Resources Conservation Agency of South Sumatra (BKSDA), the Sumatran Tiger Conservation Foundation (YPHS), Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP), PT Sumber Hijau Permai, Sembilang National Park, and Safari Park Indonesia at the release site for this momentous event. All groups played a role in bringing the tiger safely to its new home. YPHS’ veteran conservation Bastoni (single name) led the operation team, from rescue to caring for the tiger in captivity to scouting the location and ultimately orchestrating the successful and safe release.
“This is a marvelous success story for Indonesia that demonstrates the power of partnership and what we can accomplish when we unite together to address the challenges we face as a country. The Sumatran tiger is a national treasure and a symbol of our rich history. It is imperative that as a nation we work together to ensure the health and longevity of this species for generations to come. I applaud the efforts of these organizations coming together to achieve this goal,” said Mr. Zulkifli Hasan, the Republic of Indonesia’s Minister of Forestry.
Putri was rescued earlier this year in an area around PT Sumber Hijau Permai, a plantation forest in South Sumatra developed on previously burned out land. Working with BKSDA in line with the Forestry Ministry Decrees on managing wildlife conflict, Bastoni led a team that tracked and safely captured the 75-kilo tiger in modified steel cage box trap provided by BKSDA. The team transported the tiger to a safe location where APP had built an 8x6x2 meter observation enclosure. While awaiting release Putri’s identity was recorded and she underwent medical checks performed by a team of veterinarians from Safari Park Indonesia. Putri was found to be in good health for release, was well-cared for and was provided a diet of live prey while Bastoni’s team identified the potential location for the safe relocation.
Sembilang National Park, a 202,896-hectares national park officially established in 2003, was identified as an ideal relocation habitat for Putri. This was determined after the relocation survey team, headed by Bastoni together with the BKSDA team, found ample availability of live prey, abundance of fresh water and large dryland for tiger range. Before the release Putri was fitted with a GPS collar that allows her to be identified and monitored in the new habitat for safety.
Today, Putri has a new home and is now safely roaming the forests of Sembilang National Park on Betet Island of South Sumatra, marking a moving success story of public-private partnership that saved the life of a rare Sumatran Tiger. The regal animal was set free in a new safe haven where she can continue to flourish and be part of the continued regeneration of the species.
“We are so proud to be part of a team of such dedicated and committed experts who share a common goal, to help ensure the safety of Putri as well as people living and working in the forests of South Sumatra. We are working together to find ways for people and tigers to live harmoniously,” said Aida Greenbury, APP Managing Director.
Bastoni and YPHS, which is supported by APP, are part of the Tiger Working Group (TWG), which acts as an intermediary when villagers come into conflict with tiger populations. The organization has developed programs to enhance tiger survival, including community education and monitoring efforts to combat illegal forest encroachment and poaching, tiger surveillance and research using radio collars and camera traps, and programs to reduce the risk of conflict between tigers and humans.
For more information please visit, http://www.rainforestrealities.com/
For images please visit, http://www.flickr.com/photos/asiapulppaper/sets/72157627223827987/
For video footage please visit, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keJxCdwIY68
Sumatran Tiger Conservation Foundation (YPHS) is a national non-profit organization who works on protecting and preserving the population of Sumatran tigers. Their vision is to preserve the sustainably of Sumatran Tigers and to realize communities who would be able to live harmoniously side by side with wildlife for the purpose of conservation.
Several of YPHS’ main programs are to identify the habitat of the Sumatran Tiger, to handle conflicts between tiger and humans, to take care and relocate conflicted tigers back to their habitat, to build awareness of the importance of the Sumatran Tiger, and to educate and provide ideas on how to increase the population of the Sumatran Tiger.
About Sembilang National Park
Sembilang National Park, was founded on the Forestry Minister’s Decree: No. 95/Kpts-II/2003 dated19 Maret 2003, and comprises an area of 202,896 hectare. The National Park is located on Banyuasin II sub-district, Musi Banyuasin Regency, South Sumatra Province. Situated on the north west of the area is the Berbak National Park, Jambi Province. Sembilang National Park represents the peat swamp forest, swamp forest and river bank forest of the South Sumatra province.
About Safari Park Indonesia
Taman Safari Indonesia (TSI) is an organization who works in the field of ex-situ conservation especially on Indonesian’s rare wildlife, and was declared as national tourism object on the 16th March 1990 by the Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunication, Mr. Soesilo Soedarman. Taman Safari Indonesia is located in the Cibeureum village, Cisarua Districk – Bogor, West Java Province, and included in the buffer zone area of non-agriculture National Park Gunung Gede Pangrango. Their function is ex-situ conservation, education, research and recreation.
Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) is a brand umbrella for paper products which are produced by several mills in Indonesia such as PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk, PT Pindo Deli Pulp & Paper Mills, PT Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia Tbk, PT Lontar Papyrus Pulp & Paper Industries, PT Ekamas Fortuna and PT The Univenus. APP’s is headquartered in Indonesia and markets its product to more than 120 countries. Most of APP’s production facilities are Chain-of-Custody certified by LEI and PEFC.
APP supports several main conservation initiatives, including a 172,000 hectare Biosphere Reserve in Giam Siak Kecil – Bukit Batu and an area of 106,000 hectare for the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary; both are located in the province of Riau, Sumatera. And a 16,400 hectare of Taman Raja wildlife conservation in Jambi Province, Sumatera. Other APP wildlife preservation initiatives include the support of the Kutai Orangutan Program in Kalimantan and the conservation of the Javan Rhino in Ujung Kulon National Park.
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