The aims of my PhD are to determine tiger and prey occurrence and abundance, to use genetic and statistical analysis to determine the factors influencing prey selection, and to provide estimates of population size and structure, movement between subpopulations and patterns of regional variation for the Sumatran tiger.
Indonesia has been identified as one of the key areas to target efforts to increase tiger numbers in the next 10 years. Large-scale detection/non-detection surveys and monitoring methods are being developed in order to identify the distribution of tigers, prey species and the associated anthropogenic threats across Sumatra. Data is being collected on tiger sign, prey species, habitat and indicators of human activity in order to examine the impact of human disturbance and habitat type on the distributions of Sumatran tigers and other threatened mammal species.
My research will combine the demographic data collected during these surveys with genetic information obtained from tiger scats, to gain a wider understanding of population size and structure, estimates of habitat suitability (in terms of prey availability) and ultimately overall population viability.