Pulp and Paper Tiger

Thumbs up: Camera traps set up by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have captured the images of 12–count ’em 12–Sumantran tigers and cubs in a central Sumatran forest. Why is that such good news? Because it’s the “highest number of tigers and tiger images obtained in the first month of sampling.” According to WWF, there are “400 critically endangered Sumantran tigers left in the wild,” so it’s great to have all these pictures of tigers and their cubs.

Thumbs down: There is a high probability the Indonesian government will grant permits to the pulp and paper industry to tear down the forest where the tigers and their cubs live. Why is that bad news? The tigers are “concentrated in locations with good forest cover, which includes natural forest areas.” If the forest is torn down, then that will shrink the tigers’ habitat and disturb an already delicate ecosystem that may put the Sumatran tigers on the brink of extinction.

I join WWF in calling on the Indonesian government to respect biodiversity and not to issue the permits that will surely lead to the destruction of this important habitat that’s vital to the Sumatran tiger’s survival.

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