Sumatran tiger population now only 400
Pekanbaru (Indonesia): The tiger population in the Sumatra region is believed to have dwindled to only 400 heads due to illegal logging in industrial forest areas, a Greenpeace activist said.
"We from Greenpeace urge all industrial forest companies, especially those operating in Riau Province, to stop their illegal logging activity for the sake of our grand children in the future," Rusmadya, a Greenpeace forest campaign coordinator, said here on yesterday.
Because their habitats have been destroyed, the wild animals often enter villages and come into conflict with villagers, he said, urging the central government to seriously deal with the problem in order to preserve the endangered animal.
"We should remember that forests are a sacred place according to our ancestors. If we destroy forests, it means we also destroy the traditions and beliefs of our ancestors," he said.
The Indonesian government estimates that more than one million hectares of forest are being cleared every year. At the rate forests are being destroyed today, the Sumatran tiger that has inspired Indonesia's rich culture is likely to follow its Javanese and Balinese cousins into extinction soon.
In July, several Greenpeace activists accompanied the Center for Conservation of Natural Resources (BKSDA) Riau to this area in order to rescue a trapped Sumatran tiger.
Unfortunately, the rescue effort failed to save the tiger's life as it had been trapped for seven days and was too weak to survive the rescue attempt.