Jember, East Java, Sep 7 (ANTARA) - The Meru Betiri National Park (TNMB) is to retrace the Javanese tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) by setting a camera trap at the potential location to snap the picture of the presumably extinct animal.

"We would set a camera trap this year to reveal the existence of Javanese tiger in the Meru Betiri National Park area," Head of Meru Betiri National Park Office Bambang Darmadja said here Wednesday.

The camera trap procurement was proposed by the local administration and had been approved by the Forestry Ministry to monitor the existence of the Javanese tiger, he said.

There have been pros and cons about the existence of the Javanese tiger. However, some evidences such as paw prints and tiger`s feces were found couple of years ago, Bambang said.

"A research in 1997 found paw prints, strongly presumed as the tigers, at size of 26-28 cm in the Meru Betiri National Park ," He said.

The camera trap was expected to reveal the Javanese tiger existence which was considered to be extinct by the public, Bambang said, adding that due to the limited number of the camera trap, the support from any local and foreign institutions would be helpful in the search for the tiger.

"The Meru Betiri National Park covers an area of 58,000 hectares. Therefore, using only one camera trap, we need more extra effort to successfully retrace the Javanese tiger," Bambang said.

Meanwhile, an environment activist of Kappala, an environment observer community of Jember, Wahyu Giri Prasetyo believed that the Javanese tiger is not yet extinct as there were some evidences found such as claw marks, fur and feces in the national park.

"I`m still keeping the feces, strongly presumed from the Javanese tiger, found on a research in 2004," Wahyu said.

There were some furs, corresponding to Javanese tiger`s medulla, found sticking to to the feces, Wahyu said.

"It would be too rash to draw a conclusion that the Javanese tiger is extinct. It needs a serious research and sufficient equipment to reveal this rare animal which is under threat of extinction," Wahyu, who was once involved in a Javanese tiger expedition, said.
(Uu.SDP-04/H-NG/O001)

Editor: Priyambodo RH

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