Deforestation Could Wipe Out Sumatran Elephants
Creatures face extinction in 30 year
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 24, 2012 8:19 AM CST
A wild Sumatran elephant is seen roaming the forest in Perawang, Riau province, Indonesia, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.   (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

(Newser) – If deforestation isn't slowed right away, wild Sumatran elephants could be extinct within three decades, environmentalists say. The creatures have been labeled "critically endangered," with their numbers cut in half since 1985; now, only 2,400 to 2,800 remain. The forests of Sumatra in Indonesia—host to some of Asia's key elephant populations— are being clear-cut for paper, timber, and palm oil, the AP notes. "Unless urgent and effective conservation action is taken these magnificent animals are likely to go extinct within our lifetime," said a rep for WWF.

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