Sumatran Tiger numbers have declined 60% in thirty years

Bryan Douebleu 
Clinical Cynic 
February 19, 2015

… and you just might have unknowingly contributed to their demise.

In 1978 a consensus on the Sumatran tiger population, the populations numbered some 1,000 cats; it is currently believed that those numbers have now dipped down to about 400 individuals. Sumatra, an island in Indonesia, along with Malaysia, are the primary suppliers of palm oil… an industry that is responsible for tremendous deforestation and habitat loss. The island of Sumatra alone has lost roughly 50% of its forests. In addition to the palm oil industry is the operations of Asia Pulp & Paper, a supplier of toilet paper and paper towels in the United States, which has had even more negative effect on Sumatran habitat. APP owns the brands Paseo and Livi – read labels and start voting with your wallet. Also, please increase your awareness regarding palm oil… and stop buying it if you can. This takes work on your part, as you must do some digging into the products you purchase; this is why issues like this continue to go unaddressed – people simply have no idea. Even if they are informed, will they care enough to trouble themselves with a little bit of inconvenience?

Palm oil plantation in Sumatra.

While it’s great that there has been recent Sumatran tiger births in zoos, the efforts taken by zoos on behalf of increasing tiger numbers has had little benefit to wild tiger populations – the battle must be won at the source of what has caused the issue to begin with. It is my opinion that any tiger in captivity should be part of a proactive breeding effort – this means even tigers at facilities like Big Cat Rescue in Florida… and private “ownership” and zoos should be relocated in a serious attempt to address threats to the species.

Deforestation of Sumatra.

The Asian demand for tiger parts appears to remain active; TRAFFIC (a global wildlife trade monitoring network) conducted a survey and found that poaching represented roughly 78% of all Sumatran tiger deaths. TRAFFIC averages that there are FORTY tigers, lost to poachers, on average, per year. This is another area where we can act; emails, phone calls, and letters can be sent to Chinese and Indonesian officials [see below]. And again, we can vote with our wallet by not buying Chinese (tiger parts demand) or Indonesian (tiger parts source) goods.

GloF-DAS alerts in Sumatra: Deforestation hotspots in Sumatra.

For those unconcerned about tigers; remember there are other species impacted by this such as elephants, orangutans, rhinos, and more. Once they are gone they’re gone. There is even a component to deforestation that should concern anyone interested in climate change; decomposition releases enough CO2 to make Indonesia third, GLOBALLY, in carbon emissions. Last time I viewed a map Indonesia was comparatively quite small…so ranking third is quite an achievement.

The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
2020 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
+1 (202) 775-5200
E-mail Them

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America
3505 International Place, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008 U.S.A.
Tel: +1-202-495-2266
Fax: +1-202-495-2138
E-mail Them

Click here to give Asia Pulp & Paper your thoughts.

Cease shopping at the following locations in the United States: Albertsons, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, IGA, Ingles, K-VA-T (Food City), Lowes Food, Marsh, Price Chopper, Roundy’s Supermarkets, Save Mart, and Spartan Stores.

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