In the last couple of years Sumatra has seen a rise in incidences of human-tiger conflict, despite there being less than 500 tigers left in the wild.
Habitat destruction for timber and palm oil production, combined with poaching of tiger prey species for food are thought to be the biggest contributors.
In November last year a tiger had strayed outside of the Gunung Leuser National Park and into the village of Timbang Lawan, where it had been killing villagers’ cattle.
The cows are the villagers’ livelihood and in cases like this it is not uncommon for tigers to be killed in retaliation. In order to prevent this, A Wild Life worked alongside the Sumatran Tiger Rangers and crowdfunded the money to build a fence to protect the cattle.
By funding small but effective projects like this, A Wild Life was able to mitigate further human-tiger conflict more quickly than any of the large conservation charities that work in and around Gunung Leuser National Park.
Large conservation organisations have the power and funds to make a real difference but all to often fail to support grass-roots conservation projects – which are generally better received by local people than those from multinational charities. And conservation doesn’t always have to be expensive either – by working directly with the Sumatran Tiger Rangers I was able to fund this project and save a critically endangered tiger for just £200.