Protected since 1935, Berbak was declared a national park in 1992, and is recognised as a wetland of international importance. The park is an area of high biodiversity, including the endangered Sumatran Tiger and Malayan Tapir. As top predator, the Sumatran Tiger is essential to maintaining the ecosystem function of the area which supports more than 250 bird species including the lesser adjutant stork and reptiles including the Malaysian Giant Turtle and Saltwater Crocodile.
These forests are disappearing at >3% year from illegal and legal logging, threatening the wildlife and communities and representing carbon emissions in excess of 3 million tonnes per year. This project provides continued support to the Wildlife Conflict and Crime Response Team, through (a) specific training focused on creating more synergistic tiger protection across Sumatra and (b) to empower the communities that border the park to play a more active role in wildlife/human conflict reduction and protecting the wildlife in the region.
The Zoological Society of London - Indonesia Programme began formally in 2002 under the sponsorship of the Indonesian Institute of Science, with the aim of taking a research-based, pragmatic approach to conservation in Indonesia. Initially focused specifically on the relationship between palm oil and the tiger on Sumatra, the project is now expanding to tackle a variety of conservation issues.
What can you do? The global consumption of palm oil is driving the clearance of pristine habitats at unprecedented rates. This is has become a primary threat to Sumatran Tigers and other species throughout Asia. Support Taronga and Melbourne Zoo on the “Don’t Palm Us Off” campaign promoting the accurate labelling of food containing palm oil. Think then ask before you buy – will what I buy affect wildlife?