Supporting Sumatra

Supporting Sumatra

#Act for the Wild, #Conservation

Posted on 14th November 2019 by Media Relations

As part of Taronga’s Centenary Celebration in 2016, Taronga launched a wildlife conservation legacy campaign. Taronga dedicated an increased level of commitment to five Australian and five Sumatran species for at least 10 years. Sumatra is a biodiversity hotspot of critical importance and is found right on Australia’s doorstep. Sadly, threats to wildlife, such as deforestation and poaching, have driven some Sumatran species to near extinction.

Taronga is taking a holistic approach to wildlife conservation in Sumatra, which means focusing on wildlife, habitats and communities.

In the support of wildlife, Taronga works with partners, including the International Rhino Foundation and Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, and provides veterinary advice and assistance, leadership in reproductive biology and funding of protection units that benefit all five Sumatran Legacy Species.

To restore critical habitat, Taronga has recently signed an agreement to work with the International Rhino Foundation on a pilot reforestation project in Way Kambas National Park. This pilot program will inform future ambitious reforestation projects on a larger scale.  All five Legacy Species can be found here and reforestation is an integral element to securing biodiversity in Sumatra.

Taronga supports local communities in Sumatra by generating income and opportunity through eco-tourism. In 2018 Taronga began a partnership with Ecolodges Indonesia, and began leading tours to Way Kambas National Park. These tours also educate the Australian community on the importance of biodiversity in our region and what they can do to make a difference on conservation issues.

How you can help

Choose 100 per cent sustainably sourced palm oil

If you’ve heard of palm oil, you’ve probably heard about its impact on the environment. But the truth is it doesn’t have to be negative. We celebrate companies that use Certified Sustainable Palm Oil in their products. The more companies transform their supply chain, the more Australians can enjoy their favourite treat free from deforestation. Find out more here.

Download Wildlife Witness app

The world is dealing with an unprecedented spike in illegal wildlife trade. It is the greatest direct threat to the future of some of the planet’s most iconic species including rhinos, elephants, tigers, pangolins – all of which are species found in Sumatra.

The Wildlife Witness app empowers you to report illegal wildlife trade. Your reports enter a database that is used by a Wildlife Crime Analyst to collate information and identify trends. Download the Wildlife Witness app next time you are travelling to Southeast Asia – find out more information here

Be a conscious traveller

Before travelling it’s important to do your research and choose ethical companies and experiences. Participating in an ‘eco-tour’ can be one way to support local people and wildlife. According to the United Nations, ‘eco-tourism’ should involve specific components, including: contribute to conservation of biodiversity; sustain the wellbeing of local people; include an interpretation/learning experience; involve responsible action on the part of tourists and the tourism industry; and stress local participation, ownership and business opportunities, particularly for rural people.

Taronga’s Sumatra Eco Tour offers wildlife experiences, cultural activities and homestays in beautiful Sumatra. The tour supports local communities by generating income and encouraging them to conserve biodiversity. Funds raised from the tour support the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary and Wildlife Protection Units in Way Kambas National Park. The next tour will run 7–14 June 2020; for information on the tour, please email ecotours@zoo.nsw.gov.au.