Sumatran Tiger ; bathing

Sumatran Tiger ; bathing, originally uploaded by tropicaLiving.

The population of the Sumatra tiger, or Panthera tigris sumatrae, is estimated to be less than 500, Ng said. It is classified as critically endangered on the IUCN-World Conservation Union's list of the world's most-threatened species.

"Successive surveys continue to show that Sumatran tigers are being sold body part by body part into extinction", said Susan Lieberman, Director of WWF International's Species Programme.

"This is an enforcement crisis," Lieberman told DPA. "If Indonesian authorities need enforcement help from the international community they should ask for it. If not, they should demonstrate they are taking enforcement seriously."

Tonny Soehartono, director for biodiversity conservation at the Indonesian ministry of forestry, said efforts were being made to deal with the illgal wildlife trade.

"We have to deal with the trade. Currently we are facing many other crucial problems which, unfortunately, are causing the decline of Sumatran Tiger populations," Soehartono said.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono pledged a 10-year effort to protect the Sumatran tiger during last year's conference on climate change in Bali Island.

Sumatra's remaining few tigers are also under threat from rampant deforestation by the pulp and paper and palm oil industries. The report warned that "unless tackled immediately," the combined threats of habitat loss and illegal trade will be the "death knell" for Indonesian tigers. (*)

02/13/08 12:01 Antara News (

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