The determinants of tiger occurrence and population viability in fragmented landscapes

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Life Sciences


Indonesia has been identified as one of the key areas for the range-wide recovery of tigers. Tiger distributions across Sumatra are increasingly well known through current efforts to sample remaining natural landcover using large scale detection/non-detection surveys. These survey and monitoring methods are being developed under the Tigers Forever (TF) initiative to be as accurate and bias free as possible. This initiative seeks to identify the distribution of tigers, prey species and the associated anthropogenic threats across Sumatra. Field teams are collecting data on tiger sign, prey species, habitat and indicators of human activity. These studies combined, provide an unrivalled opportunity to examine the impact of human disturbance and habitat type on the distributions of Sumatran tigers and other threatened mammal species. In the proposed research, the demographic data collected during TF surveys will be combined with genetic information obtained from tiger scats, to gain a wider understanding of population size and structure (within and between subpopulations), estimates of habitat suitability (in terms of prey availability) and ultimately overall population viability. The wider survey efforts, complemented by the analysis of these genetic samples, will inform changes in management practice for the longer-term persistence of remnant tiger populations.


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