About Stay Wild

Stay Wild was founded by Vanessa Rowe, a zookeeper from New Zealand who has worked for many years with Sumatran tigers. Looking after Sumatran tigers in zoos inspired her to travel to Sumatra and see first hand the issues facing Sumatran tigers in the wild and consequently establish Stay Wild.

Stay Wild works with small forest edge communities living beside the Gunung Leuser National Park one of the last strongholds for Sumatran tigers. There is an estimated 120 tigers living in this national park. With an estimated total of only 400 tigers left surviving in all of Sumatra this population is only one of two populations considered still genetically viable, with enough breeding females to sustain and potentially increase the population.

The main threats to tigers in the wild are mass deforestation of their habitat (land clearing on a large scale for the timber trade and consequential establishment of agriculture such as palm oil plantations), fragmentation of their habitat meaning tigers cannot disperse to breed with unrelated tigers and hunting for their body parts to supply traditional medicine markets.

We have a core team of 4 local people to carry out our wildlife monitoring activities and community assistance initiatives. See more about this under projects!

 Dr Kat Strang is our conservation science advisor overseeing our camera trap program and providing training to our team. Kat has donated many hours of her time to this project and it would not be a success without her. Kat is currently in Madagascar in the role of Conservation Research Coordinator for SEED.

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