Tag Archives: Habitat

The Disappearing Stripes In The Year Of The Tiger IV: Sumatran Tiger

I have been writing about tigers in a series of posts titled “The Disappearing Stripes in the Year of The Tiger. The previous 3 can be found at the following links:

Part I – The Disappearing Stripes

Part II – The Amur Tiger

Part III – The Bengal Tiger

This is the 4th part of “The Disappearing Stripes in the year of the Tiger” getting to know the Sumatran Tiger this week. The Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is the smallest of the 5 surviving species of tigers today. They are critically endangered due to habitat destruction and poaching.

Courtesy Bricmak under Creative Commons Attribution

Picture Courtesy Brian Mckay

The Sumatran Tiger has lived exclusively, for over a million years, in the once extensive moist tropical jungles of the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Their population in the wild is now heavily fragmented and is estimated to range between 400 and 500 individuals. Groups of between a few and several dozen tigers can be found principally in and around Sumatra’s national parks.

What makes the Sumatran Tiger even more special as it has been genetically isolated in its unique environment which is an island, away from all the other species of tigers in Asia.

Interesting facts about the Sumatran Tiger:

  • Sumatran male tigers average around 8’ in length and weigh around 265pounds.
  • The Sumatran tigers have narrower stripes which make it easier for them to move in the jungle.
  • Male Sumatran tigers have a more bearded and maned appearance.
  • Webbing between their toes, when spread, enables the Sumatran tiger to be very fast swimmer.
  • Less than 500 Sumatran tigers live in the wild in Sumatra.
  • The largest population of about 110 Sumatran tigers lives in Gunung Leuser National Park.
  • Indonesia has 65 captive Sumatran tigers living in zoos, 85 in European zoos and 20 in Australian zoos. There are 70 tigers managed by North American zoos.
  • Loss of their natural habitat often leads tigers to move into settled areas in search of food, where they then encounter problems.
  • The Sumatran has the darkest coat of all the tigers ranging from reddish-yellow through to deep orange, its broad black stripes are closely spaced and often doubled this helps them hide in the forest.
  • Their Nocturnal vision is 6times as sharp as ours!

You can do your bit by helping save tigers HERE

Help Save the Tiger, it is our responsibility.

Info on Sumatran Tigers Sources:

Honolulu Zoo

The Tiger Trust

Tiger world

Monarch’s Have Yet Another Hurdle This Year

In early May I did a post about Monarch Butterfly migration and the threats it was facing. Last year was the worst year for Monarch butterflies, the orange and black cloud which descends on Mexico every winter migrating all the way from as far North as Canada. Read the Post HERE

This year they are suffering from a double whammy sort of added to the already existing issues,  severe storms hit their forests in Mexico. The Nature Conservancy said in a news conference that storm damage in Mexico’s  Oyamel Forests 13,000-hectare (32,124 acre) monarch reserve is yet another blow to the fragile butterflies. Illegal logging has long been a major problem in these forests, this year torrential rains and heavy winds have damaged hundred’s of acres of the forest leading conservationists to feel even more worried for the Monarch.

A 1986 presidential decree in Mexico established the Monarch Butterfly Special Biosphere Reserve. This consisted of 60 square miles of protected forest. The Monarch Butterfly Reserve is strictly protected from logging.

The first one included 5 sites:

  • Altamirano
  • Sierra Chincua (open to public)
  • El Rosario (open to public)
  • Chivati-Huacal
  • Cerro Pelon

Seven more overwintering sites were later discovered:

  • San Andres
  • Mil Cumbres
  • La Mesa
  • Lomas de Aparicio
  • Piedra Herrada
  • San F. Oxtotilpan
  • Palomas

In the year 2000, a Presidential decree expanded the reserve creating a protected corridor of 216 square miles. The Oyamel forests are the perfect micro-climate for the Monarch Butterflies and years of tracking has proved that they have continued to return to the same wintering sites annually since 1976. 2010 United Nations Climate talks are to be held in Mexico and Mexico has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 50 million tons by 2012.

We can all help in tracking what is happening to the Monarch butterfly by keeping our eyes open and recording the butterflies you see HERE the tracking officially starts this year on 26th August 2010, watch out for Orange and Black 🙂 What the website wants you to look out for:

Watch for Monarchs that are:

  1. Flying Overhead
  2. Fueling at a nectar source OR
  3. Resting at an overnight roost

Lets hope things have improved and more Monarchs make it down south, keep your eyes open and remember the Website address Tracking Monarch Migration Hopefully it is not too late for the Monarch and the magical migration…

Read the entire Reuters article here

Watch the Monarchs in their forests courtesy of the Discovery Channel:

Check out “On the Wings of the Monarch” an exciting nature documentary that follows host Libby Graham on an amazing journey into the life of the monarch butterfly.

On the Wings of the Monarch [VHS]