Tigers face many threats in the wild, including loss of habitat, loss of prey, being hunted for their skins and other body parts for traditional medicine ingredients, as well as conflict with humans for living space. It is estimated that there are around 400 – 500 individual tigers in Sumatra in isolated pockets of protected land and they are classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN.
In 2018, 21st Century Tiger merged with the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance to become WildCats Conservation Alliance. Their mission is to save wild tigers and Amur leopards for future generations by funding carefully chosen conservation projects in Sumatra, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Russia.
The Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund supports a Lingkar Insiative Indonesia project via WildCats, which aims to strengthen conservation of Sumatran tigers in the south-west of Kerinci Seblat National Park through collaboration with government agencies and religious leaders, while building lasting support among the community for Sumatran tiger conservation using Islamic perspectives and values.
Collaborative forest patrols aim to address and further reduce threat to tigers and their prey, while investigations identify those poachers and traders still active and support law enforcement, through project partners, where crimes have occurred.
Additionally, the project team responds to human-tiger conflict by supporting mitigation actions by a human-wildlife conflict mitigation team now formed by Lebong district government, as well as give guidance to teachers and pupils at junior high schools where conservation is now being incorporated into elements of the school curriculum.