Sumatran tigers are getting closer to extinction as evidence showed that their habitats are rapidly decreasing, an environmentalist said.
"Forest encroachments by irresponsible people have been on the rise in Sumatra in recent years in addition to illegal forest clearings making way for plantations," Rasyid Assaf Dongoran, director of the Sumatra Rainforests Institute (SRI) said on Sunday.
Sumatran tigers, Dongoran added, would not survive more years if their habitats continued to reduce making them increasingly difficult find food. He said only around 400 tigers were left in Sumatran forests.
"These rare animal species in Sumatra are sure to become extinct sooner or later, as the result of continued illegal forest encroachments in the name of economic development," Dongoran pointed out.
Dongoran added that reports on forest destruction and the tree felling had become daily consumption to the public in provinces of Sumatra, from Aceh to Lampung. This dismaying fact adds to the previous announcement by the local administrations on the legal clearance of forested land making way for oil palm plantations.
"If the forest degradation rate increased unchecked because the lack of serious attention of the government and the society, the extinction would sure to come," Dongoran said.