TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) believes that there are only 200 Sumatran tigers left in the wild in Aceh. This tragic statistic was announced by BKSDA Aceh Head Sapto Aji Prabowo at the Banda Aceh Independent Journalist Alliance (AJI) office yesterday, Nov. 14.
“That prediction is based on the monitoring throughout 2013-2015,” said Sapto. He maintains that the declining population of Sumatran Tiger in Aceh is mainly caused by illegal hunting and illegal logging activities.
The Leuser Conservation Forum (FKL) Coordinator Dediyansyah said that Aceh houses the largest population of Sumatran Tigers spread in two regions; Leuser and Ulu Masen.
Other than tigers, Dediansyah said that there are three other key species in Aceh that need to be closely monitored such as elephants, orangutans, and rhinos.
He explained that a joint operation in Aceh has two patrol teams to monitor 240,000 hectares area that is the home of the rare and protected species, namely in Gayo Lues, Southeast Aceh, Nagan Raya, and Central Aceh.
The government environmental group also found 74 cases of illegal hunting that led to the arrest of 8 poachers and 40 poaching camps spread inside the dense forest area that is home to the Sumatran tiger in Aceh.