Jon Afrizal, Jambi – Berbak Sembilang National Park (TNBS), located on the eastern coast of Sumatra, will be made into a Sumatran tiger conservation site to stop poaching in the area.
Jambi Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA Jambi) head Rahmad Saleh Simbolon said on Tuesday that the project was expected to save the remaining tiger population.
London-based conservation group Zoological Society of London said there were currently about 40 Sumatran tigers in the park, which is made up of forest and coastal areas.
"We do hope they can be preserved and bred," Rahmad said, adding that the local administration and residents should support the initiative.
Berbak Sembilang park, according to him, has a sufficient food supply that would allow for the tigers to breed properly. The park is located next to the Orang Kayo Hitam forest, which is severely damaged as a result of forest fires and currently under restoration.
"This has to be done for the sustainability of the tigers and to restore the forest," he said.
The tiger conservation project manager of the Zoological Society of London's Indonesian office, Yoan Dinata, said the population of Sumatran tigers on the island was 150, with only an additional 300 outside the island.
Of the 300, some are in zoos on Java Island, while the rest are in Europe and Australia.
"Some parties have succeeded in breeding Sumatran tigers, including a zoo in Sydney, Australia, where three tiger cubs have been born since the beginning of this year," he said, expressing hope about a better future for the critically endangered species.