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Action: Sumatran Elephant Upgraded To Critically Endangered

Action: Sumatran Elephant Upgraded To Critically Endangered

The latest Red List of threatened species has upgraded the risk of Indonesia’s Sumatran elephants from “endangered” to “critically endangered.” The elephants have lost half their population in the past 25 years.

The mounting Red List from the International Union for Conservation of Nature estimated this week there are only 2,400 to 2,800 elephants living in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Conservationists say the species could be extinct in less than 30 years if immediate action is not taken.

The IUCN also changed the elephant’s status because it lost nearly 70 percent of its habitat in one generation. The World Wildlife Fund said that statistic is the “most rapid deforestation” of any of the Asian elephant subspecies.

While Indonesian law calls for the protection of the Sumatran elephants, it does little to safeguard the land where they live. Two-thirds of their forests, especially in the Riau province, have been turned into oil palm plantations or industrialized by the pulp and paper industry.

The elephants live mainly in the wet, lowland areas, which appear to also be the best suitable areas for oil palm crops. The elephants have competed for their habitat with the oil palm industry, for the past two decades.

The World Wildlife Fund is calling on the Indonesian government to prohibit all forest development in the elephant habitats until there is a conservation strategy to save the species.

“We recommend that large habitat patches be assessed and designated protected areas. Smaller habitat areas should be linked by conservation corridors and areas of possible habitat expansion or restoration explored. An immediate moratorium on habitat conversion is needed to secure a future for Sumatran elephants,” WWF said in a statement.

The Sumatran elephant joins a growing list of Indonesian species that are critically endangered. These include the Sumatran orangutan, the Javan, the Sumatran rhino and the Sumatran tiger.

Take Action: Save Endangered Asian Elephants In Sumatra

 

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Photo from pastorbuhro via flickr.

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103 comments

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9:31PM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

Thanks for the article.

3:09AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

The powers that be all want the animals in this world to die...

12:49AM PST on Feb 15, 2012

Signed .... hopefully something is done!!!!!

4:47AM PST on Feb 13, 2012

I signed the petition and I hope the government does something to enforce the law to protect these elephants.

4:40AM PST on Feb 10, 2012

You know, I signed the petition, but I hate to say this: What actually happens to them - is it all just whistling in the wind, will Indonesia just shrug them off???? Sadly, I think so.

4:29AM PST on Feb 10, 2012

Very sad to hear, have signed the petition :-(

9:08AM PST on Feb 2, 2012

sad news, signed, thanks for sharing :)

9:15AM PST on Jan 28, 2012

So sad, I couldn't imagine not having these gentle giants on our planet in 30 years, how will we explain this to future generations that we could of prevented it but didn't because of business and money?-Petition signed

2:02PM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Petition signed.

6:56AM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Action taken, thank you.

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