Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Indonesia Expands Wildlife Haven

Sumatra’s endangered elephants and tigers should get a boost from a move by Indonesia’s government to expand one of their last havens, a national park on the island of Sumatra, the conservation group WWF said Thursday.

The area of the park, Tesso Nilo in Riau Province, is to be more than doubled to 212,500 acres. But the group warned that increased efforts would be vital to ensure that poaching and illegal logging did not continue.

WWF, whose headquarters are outside Geneva, said 60 to 80 elephants and about 50 tigers were believed to live in the area to be covered by the park.

The province at large is home to about 210 elephants, down from around 1,250 just 25 years ago, and 192 tigers, whose numbers have dropped from around 650 over the same period.

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