Categorized | Nature

Saving Tigers: Mila?s Story

Please meet Mila Parakkasi, an Indonesian woman on WWF tiger conservationist’s team. She heads the tiger research team who worked on Central Sumatra, Indonesia, setting up camera traps to photograph or film tigers, which used to help calculate the number of tigers and their movement patterns, gathering data that aids in tiger and habitat conservation. The thick forests of Central Sumatra are one of the last refuges of the Sumatran tiger, which today numbers only around 400 individuals. This area is under increasing threat, from habitat destruction mainly from pulp, paper and palm oil companies, as well as poaching. Mila’s research not only helps protect tigers, but serves as a defense line against these threats.

She has been passionate to wildlife conservation since her grandfather told her bedtime stories about the wildlife when she was young. Therefore, she joined the WWF after graduated because she thought WWF is an environmental organization with many years of experience on species conservation work. And she was not worried although she was the only woman on the team.

“Fieldwork is always challenging, especially because Sumatran tigers occur at very low densities which means we have to cover extensive forest areas and spend days in search for tiger signs.” Mila said. “The camera trap is really a fantastic tool. Before camera traps were available, the study of Sumatran tigers relied mainly on footprints, or scratch marks on a tree, [and] you might confuse their size, especially when the footprints are old. But with the camera traps, you?ll reduce this error by having pictures of tigers and you can identify the individuals from their stripes. So distribution data, population data, are more actual.”

WWF’s Tigers Alive Initiative supports Mila and her team, and teams throughout Asia in 11 countries, to protect the last 3,200 remaining wild tigers, boost political commitment and engage communities. The Tigers Alive Initiative works from local to global levels to help double tiger numbers by 2022, and ensure this magnificent epitome of nature’s beauty, power and mystery, and the forests it calls home, has a future in our increasingly small world.


Posted on Good News From Indonesia by Yulita Saumsinar

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