by Staff Writers
Jakarta (UPI) May 11, 2013
Conservationists said the critically endangered Sumatran tiger may go extinct from the Jambi province on Sumatra, Indonesia, in a decade.
There are between 250 and 300 of the massive orange and black striped cats living in the wild in the region and that number is shrinking due to deforestation taking away habitats, said Rakhmad Hidayat, director of a local environmental group Warsi.
Most of the tigers live in Indonesia's Kerinci Seblat National Park but some of the cats have come into contact with villagers, a sign the animals are becoming more used to human presence -- and that their own habitats are disappearing.
Two encounters between the tigers and humans -- one that killed a person -- have been recorded in the last year, the Jakarta Globe said Saturday. Other tigers have died when they came into contact with electric fences.
"The current arbitrary management of the region's natural resources has not only sparked conflict among communities, but also poses a serious threat to the local wildlife," Rakhmad said.
At least 26 elephants massacred by C.African poachers
"At least 26 elephants were massacred in the Dzanga Bai World Heritage Site in the Central African Republic, after 17 individuals armed with Kalashnikov rifles on Monday entered this unique elephant habitat," the WWF said in a statement.
The WWF described the Bai, a large clearing where between 50 and 200 forest elephants congregate every day to drink nutrients present in the sands, as an "elephant mortuary". Four of those killed were calves.
The poachers presented themselves as part of the transition government made up of the former Seleka rebel coalition which seized power in a coup six weeks ago, the WWF said.
The new leaders have struggled to restore security in the unstable nation.
The WWF had already drawn attention to the presence of the poachers on Tuesday.
"The killing has started. The Central African Republic must act immediately to secure this unique World Heritage site," Jim Leape, WWF international director general said in the statement.
"The brutal violence we are witnessing in Dzanga Bai threatens to destroy one of the world's great natural treasures, and to jeopardise the future of the people who live there."
The Central African region is regularly hit by poaching operations and in February 2012 at least 300 elephants were killed for their ivory in the Bouba NDjidda national park in northern Cameroon.
The WWF urged the international community, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo to help preserve the site, which also stretches into their countries.
Forest elephant species in Central Africa have plummeted 62 percent over the past ten years. the WWF said.
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