Rudi is one of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas’ Conservation Team in Riau. Rudi has been with the Forest Sustainability and HSE Department team since 2010. He is responsible for ensuring the balance of flora and fauna, routine patrols in protected areas, and monitoring the presence and activities of wildlife nearby through footprints, feces tracks, and claw marks. Rudi said, on one occasion he even had a close encounter with a Sumatran tiger.
To ensure a peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife sharing the same landscape, Rudi and six other colleagues in the conservation team, work together with Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA). Rudi and his colleagues also collaborate with other wildlife conservation organisations in mitigating human-wildlife conflict that occur in and around the concession area, including human-tiger conflict. One of the activities is the team conduct snare sweeping operations with stakeholders to clean up snares that put risks to the key species in the areas.
"In addition to implement SOPs for mitigating conflicts between humans and wildlife, we also conduct regular education programmes and train field workers and communities to remain calm when they encounter with a tiger, to prevent tigers from being aggressive. Indeed, it is a quite high-risk job, but because the team and I want to protect the existence of key endangered species, we are trying our best to do this noble work," said Rudi.
Rudi explains throughout his career in conservation, focusing on Sumatran tiger, he learns a lot about this big cat’ distinctiveness, behaviours pattern and habitat. Here’s what he found out:
· From the camera trap results, when the condition is normal, Sumatran tigers usually active around early in the morning or early evening – but again depending on the situations and conditions too (health, habitat and food);
· Like human fingerprints, their stripe patterns are unique to each individual. Through camera traps that snap photos of each side of the tiger, Rudi is able to identify individuals and properly count the population in concession areas;
· As a top predator, tigers controlling the population of other animals. They help to keep the balance between the prey animals and the forest vegetation which they feed upon and help farmers who live around the forest to reduce plant pests;
· Tigers are elusive species and tend to avoid humans;
· Tigers are solitary animals, except during courtship and nurturing mothers and their cubs. They mark their own space and occupy it all by themselves;
· Their strongest senses are sight and hearing;
· The ideal habitat requirements for tigers to live are shelter, food and water resource.
He added, although he was afraid of tigers at first, however through his experiences in accompanying NGOs and researchers in learning about tigers’ activities and behaviours, he then fell in love with Sumatran tiger. He is proud to be in a team that protected key endangered species. He said, “Conserving endangered animals, including tigers, is very important in pursuing a balanced ecosystem. Besides, I hope this effort could be beneficial for the next generation as we strive to provide a better environment to maintain rich biodiversity that lives in it.”
APP Sinar Mas, through the conservation team, remains committed in wildlife protection and conservation. Through collaboration, education, research and monitoring and site level protection, we improved tiger habitats to reach a viable population level and avoid extinction. In addition, the field team also conduct regular education programmes and raises awareness of Sumatran tiger conservation with field workers and communities. As a result, based on data since 2013 there are at least five tiger cubs born in the concession areas, demonstrating that the concession areas provide safe environment for the tigers to breed and nurture their cubs.