Sumatran elephant 'faces extinction in 30 years'

Sumatran elephant 'faces extinction in 30 years'

It attributed the decline largely to habitat being deforested and converted for agricultural plantations.

The IUCN said it changed its classification because the creature, the smallest Asian elephant, has lost nearly 70 per cent of its habitat and half of its population in one generation.

Despite the elephant being protected under Indonesian law, 85 per cent of its habitats are not safeguarded as they are outside officially protected areas, according to the IUCN.

This means they are likely to be converted for other uses, said the IUCN.

Elephant numbers in Sumatra's Riau province alone have declined by 80 per cent in less than 25 years due to rapid deforestation by pulp and paper industries and oil palm plantations, the WWF said.

"The Sumatran elephant joins a growing list of Indonesian species that are critically endangered, including the Sumatran orang-utan, the Javan and Sumatran rhinos and the Sumatran tiger," said Carlos Drews,...
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