Conservation update from Sumatra! Just last month the Sumatran Ranger Project, a conservation organisation founded by our incredible deputy curator of mammals Amy Robbins,constructed their eighth predator-proof livestock corral. 

Measuring 17sqm, these corrals are built to comfortably house around 30 cows overnight – protecting Indonesian farmers livestock and their livelihoods from Sumatran tigers. Made from bamboo, reclaimed river wood, and wire, they are a cost-effective yet long-term solution to human-tiger conflict along the forest edge.
Over time, these corrals help to shift attitudes towards wildlife and enable communities to live alongside Critically Endangered Sumatran tigers.

The project’s eleven dedicated rangers provide a valuable resource for forest-edge communities and wildlife in Sumatra - removing illegal snares on the border of the Gunung Leuser National Park, and providing outreach, support and education to locals to help them live in harmony with wild Sumatran orangutans, elephants, rhinoceros and tigers.

To create this corral they were supported by an incredible team of volunteers – made up of Auckland Zoo staff and their partners, Perth Zoo staff and rangers from Queensland. Bamboo was cut, made into a raft and floated down the river to get it to the corral site. Each post was dug, mostly by hand, and the wooden posts were fitted into place. The gates were made from recycled wood and the hinges from pieces of rubber tyre!

Thanks to the support of Mitre 10 New Zealand who provided some hand tools, the team were able to able build the planned corral in record time. Over the next few days, the volunteer team shadowed the rangers as they monitored wild elephants (for the safety of the herd) – and even saw some fresh tiger footprints that were less than a half hour old!

Amy says, “We met with one of the families using the corral and they explained how much the community appreciates the support. There is currently no government support or alternative for farmers who graze their livestock along the forest border at night. At first communities were sceptical of the corrals but now that they have seen their success, they are hugely in demand. This is a small and simple way we can help provide practical support for forest-edge communities and reduce human-wildlife conflict at the same time. We aim to build another six corrals over the coming 12 months”.