By Audrey Smith
Photo courtesy of: World Wildlife Fund
Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. Say that three times fast. Now do it backwards. Ok that was fun. But it’s not a fun place for tigers. They used to call it home and now it’s vanishing. Which is really sad because the tigers are vanishing along with it.
Sumatran tigers are the only kind of tiger left in Indonesia. All the other ones either went extinct or went on vacation; but we’re going to assume it was the first one. Not only that but these tigers pretty much run things around the park so a lot of other species and factors in their ecosystem depend on them.
We really can’t let Sumatran tigers go extinct so there have been a lot of efforts to figure out what’s going on lately. It pretty much boils down to one thing: deforestation. The park’s greenery is disappearing faster than the Dugars pop out children, especially the lowland forest that the tigers like to live in most.
A lot of the research on the effects of deforestation on Sumatran tigers has been done with satellite technology that doesn’t work that great. A team of scientists decided to fix this and take on the project with digital elevation models, global positioning devices, and plenty of cameras.
Their results were kind of a bummer. They documented an 8.34 km^2 loss of lowland forest every year along with a population drop from 80 to 36 tigers. When they did some math with these results, they realized the tiger’s population density had dropped from 1.88 to .97 tigers per 100 km^2.
Basically these results tell us that the more we cut down trees, the less tigers we have and the less tigers per land area we have. Like I said earlier, Sumatran tigers are kind of a big deal and we can’t really let them pull a dinosaur on us and stop existing. We really need to do something to protect Bukit Barisan Selatan.
Suyadi, Nengah S. Jaya, Antonius B. Wijanarto, and Haryo T. Wibisono. “Deforestation and It Is Implications for Sumatran Tigers in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Sumatra.” Jurnal Biologi Indonesia (2013): 73-81. Web. 8 Oct. 2013.