Rediscovering Hope: In Search of the Javan Tiger, Presumed Extinct Since the 1970s

Rediscovering Hope: In Search of the Javan Tiger, Presumed Extinct Since the 1970s
Javan tiger in captivity at London Zoo | London Zoo Animal, Photo by F.W. Bond. From the Gardens of the Zoological Society of London

In a remarkable turn of events, authorities and conservationists in Indonesia have launched a concerted effort to locate the elusive Javan tiger in its natural habitat. Once thought to have vanished in the 1970s, the Javan tiger, alongside the Balinese and Sumatran tigers, was officially declared extinct by the IUCN Red List in 2008 due to pervasive poaching and escalating human-wildlife conflicts.

However, a glimmer of hope emerged in 2019 when a keen-eyed local resident reported a Javan tiger sighting near Sukabumi City, sparking a flurry of interest and investigation. Subsequent analysis of genetic material extracted from a hair sample found near a fence, coupled with the discovery of distinctive footprints and claw marks, has reignited the possibility of the Javan tiger's existence.


Scientists from Indonesia's National Research and Innovation Agency, collaborating closely with conservationists, identified specific genetic markers unique to the Javan tiger within the sampled hair, setting it apart from other tiger subspecies such as the Sumatran and Bengal tigers. This groundbreaking revelation has sparked renewed speculation that a small population of Javan tigers may still inhabit the uncharted wilderness.

"The research findings have kindled fresh discussions on the potential survival of the Javan tiger in its natural habitat," remarked Satyawan Pudyatmoko, a prominent ministry official overseeing conservation endeavors. "Preparations are underway to address this possibility, including deploying sophisticated camera traps and consulting genetic experts to validate these claims."

Should the existence of the Javan tiger be substantiated, immediate protective measures will be essential to ensure its preservation. Pudyatmoko underscored the crucial role of society in safeguarding these iconic creatures, stressing the urgency for collective conservation efforts and unwavering vigilance.

Indonesia, a nation with a rich biodiversity that once harbored three distinctive tiger subspecies - Javan, Balinese, and Sumatran tigers - now stands at a pivotal juncture with the potential rediscovery of the Javan tiger. With the Javan and Balinese tigers presumed extinct, the remaining Sumatran tiger population, estimated at fewer than 400 individuals in the wild, faces a precarious future, classified as critically endangered.

Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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