Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tiger appearances : An ecological message

Rakyat Bengkulu, leading local newspaper, yesterday (27/05/11) reported that during the last one month the villagers in the sub-district Padang Bane, Municipality of Lebong, have caught insight the appearance of Sumatera Tiger (Panthera tigris Sumatrae) as many as three appearances around the sub-district.  It was on Wednesday, May 25, 2001,  Suarnardi and his wife were extremely shocked when they open their door around 07.00 a.m. and surprisingly found a tiger of 2.5 m length and 1.25 m height  was sitting lousily in their veranda.  The tiger left the house then, went back to the forest and ignored the crowd of the villagers. 

The head (Camat) of Padang Bano’s sub-district confirmed that he is occasionally reported by the villagers about the appearance of tiger in his district. Meanwhile the villagers also claimed that there have been more than ten goats have been missing lately, and they assumed that their goats were taken down by the jungle tigers.    Indeed, the appearance of Sumatra tigers in the province of Bengkulu lately do not only take place in the municipality of Lebong, but it also appeared in the municipality of Kaur, as well as the municipality of Seluma. These three municipalities are closely neighboring with conservation areas, including the National Park of Kerinci Sebelat, Bukit Barisan National Park, as well as Bukit Barisan National Park.  Two weeks ago, villagers in municipality of Seluma also reported that their goats were missing and assumed that the tiger took them away. 
What’s happening in the conservation areas is now clear. The tiger lost their habitats, places to get food and maintain their existence.  How can it be? Deforestations ? Illegal logging? Illegal farming? Or legal farming as well. Whatever it was, there have been tremendous economic activities take place in the conservation areas to reduce the jungle coverage and to minimize ecosystem supports to its members. A species like tiger needs to find their foods,  searching anywhere it is possible, and may be get lost in the village. Another species like jungle-pigs lost their original habitats, come to farming and plantation areas to get their foods. So, the appearance of a tiger in the village is simply an ecological  message from the nature.

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