Sumatran Tiger Education Fund

Hi! My name is Erin Poor, and I am a PhD candidate at Virginia Tech researching human impacts on tiger habitat in Sumatra, Indonesia. As top ecosystem predators, tigers are important in regulating and maintaining a healthy forest, making them critically important for jungles worldwide. Unfortunately, there are only about 300 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild. In Sumatra, tiger habitat is decreasing rapidly due to oil palm and other agriculture plantations. I am using my research data to determine how we can better manage landscapes while increasing tiger habitat and respecting those who live in and around tiger habitat. 

My field teams and I have worked hard to collect Sumatran tiger genetics and habitat data for the past three years. We are finally approaching the end to this project, and I am looking forward to returning to Indonesia in August to share our results with local stakeholders - those making the important decisions about tiger habitat. Foreign researchers do not always do this, but sharing data and information is the only way we can truly make changes. I am hoping the data I share with the government of Indonesia will be used to make positive management changes. 

I'll be meeting with staff from the World Wildlife Fund, the Ministry of Environment, and Universitas Gadjah Mada over the course of about two weeks in August. In addition to official meetings, I also plan to run a Women's Wild Weekend workshop -  for young women in Sumatra to learn field skills such as field navigation and fire building. Women are underrepresented in conservation in Indonesia, and we need as many diverse minds as possible to solve some of our most difficult societal challenges like saving tigers from extinction.  I have most expenses covered except:

$1200: Round trip flight for myself, from Washington   DC - Jakarta
$800: Hotels and meals for two weeks

Donations of $50 will receive a small batik souvenir and donations of $100 or more will receive a small batik souvenir, a silk batik scarf or eco-, wildlife- friendly Javanese coffee. 

To learn more about the details of my work, here is a link to my research website and Facebook page . 
You can also follow me (@ee_poor) on Twitter for wildlife related posts and weird wildlife photos and videos - straight from Sumatra.

A little about my qualifications: 
2018 Virginia Tech Department of Fish and Wildlife Science: A.B. Massey Outstanding Doctoral Student
2018 Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources: Outstanding Doctoral Student
2015 Fulbright Student Researcher in Indonesia (lived in Indonesia for two years while conducting PhD research)
2015 National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant recipient 

I speak Indonesian and all workshops will take place in Bahasa Indonesia. 

Thank you so much for your continued support throughout this journey!!

Our first tiger we caught on trail camera in 2015. 

Indonesia is an incredibly beautiful country. Here you can see Rimbang Baling Wildlife Reserve, one of our focal sites in the distant mountains.

Some members of my amazing field team post survey. 

Me with freshly collected tiger poop!

Donations (26)

  • Anonymous
    • $651 
    • 5 yrs


Erin Poor
Christiansburg, VA

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