WildCRU authors publish landmark official document to conserve Sumatran tigers
What a thrill to see three out of six distinguished authors of a unique official national document were WildCRU trained, writes David Macdonald in celebration of a remarkable landmark in the conservation of Sumatran tigers: the Sumatran tiger is the only surviving Indonesian subspecies of, and intensive monitoring of their numbers and protection are crucial. Rising to this challenge, the Government of Indonesia, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in collaboration with NGO partners and funded by The Sumatran Tiger Project (GEF-UNDP), published national guidelines on their commitment to shouldering this responsibility. The guidelines are embedded within an official book-sized account: this is no normal book, it is a formal national document setting out official guidelines that have been used as core teaching materials for tiger population monitoring in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry- Centre of Training and Education. The lead author, Iding Haidir is a member of Ministry of Environment and Forestry and a distinguished alumnus of the University of Oxford Post Graduate Diploma alumni (2010 Panther), now in the final stages of completing a doctorate at WildCRU. Of the six authors, another is Ardiantiono, also a former WildCRU Panther, graduating from our Diploma course with a distinction in 2018. The third WildCRU author is Irene M. Pinondang, soon to take up her place as a 2019 Panther. We are immensely proud of their engagement in this significant contribution to tiger conservation. The book contains information of the importance of tigers from perspectives of local wisdom, ecology and science, but also from politics and social. The guideline explains all aspects of tiger population monitoring, from administrative to logistical, and offers advice on the design of monitoring sites. One of the concluding chapters explains, step by step, a module-like analyses for estimating tiger occupancy and density using the latest methods and software that have been implemented in tropical habitats. All six authors are Indonesian, young and dedicated to tiger conservation.