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Sumatran Elephant on brink of Extinction

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The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that the Sumatran elephant could be extinct in less than 30 years as half of the species’ population has been lost in one generation.

According to a statement issued by WWF, an estimated number of 2,400 to 2,800 Sumatran elephants are alive that is down about 50 percent from a 1985 estimate.

“The Sumatran elephant joins a growing list of Indonesian species that are critically endangered, including the Sumatran orangutan, the Javan and Sumatran rhinos and the Sumatran tiger,” added Carlos Drews director of WWF’s Global Species Program in the statement.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recently raised its listing of the Sumatran elephant subspecies from ‘endangered’ to ‘critically endangered’.

Experts say the major cause of the situation is the deforestation of the species’ habitat in order to use it for agriculture.

In central Sumatra’s Riau Province only, the rapid deforestation has cut the number of the elephants by 80 percent in less than 25 years.

The organization has called on the Indonesian government to ban any kind of deforestation in the elephants’ habitats until a conservation strategy is devised.


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