Indonesia to relocate tigers from oil-palm plantations

Indonesia News.Net
Wednesday 31st October, 2007 (IANS)

Jakarta, Oct 31 (Xinhua) Indonesia will relocate endangered animals, such as the tiger, from forests from which timber was being harvested or which had been converted to oil-palm plantations in Sumatra island, Forestry Minister Malam Sambat Kaban said here Wednesday.

'The animals found in the non-forestry areas that will be used for oil-palm plantation must be relocated,' said Kaban.

The minister said the government had identified areas for conservation. Companies that want to begin plantation must ensure the safety of the animals.

Many rare species such as tiger, elephant, sun bear, jungle cat, clouded leopard and the like live in the Sumatran forests that are being used for timber and oil-palm plantations.

Conservationists have warned if the plantation and timber logging continued, the habitat of these rare animals would be destroyed and requested the government to allocate land for their conservation, the same way it provided land for farmers.

They also found evidence of the rare Sumatran tiger in these areas. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has classified the species as critically endangered. It is the smallest of all tiger subspecies and found only in Sumatra.

Today there are only 250 members of the species left in the wild in Sumatra. Habitat loss and poaching have threatened their existence. Indonesia is one of the world's most ecologically diverse regions.
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