Tigers and elephants applaud expansion of Sumatra park
Sumatra’s Tesso Nilo National Park will be doubled in size in an effort to help out the endangered elephants and tigers that live there. Riau province, which contains the park, houses some 210 elephants (down from 1,250 just a quarter-century ago) and 192 tigers (down from 650 in that same time period). Sixty to 80 elephants and some 50 tigers are believed to reside in Tesso Nilo. The park also has the most biodiverse highland forest plant life on earth, with some 4,000 recorded unique species. The expansion of the park to 212,500 acres “is a momentous decision that offers hope for some of the planet’s most spectacular wildlife and forests,” says Carter Roberts of WWF. “There is still much to do, however, as Sumatra’s forests continue to disappear to feed the growing global demand for pulp, paper, and palm oil.” Riau lost 11 percent of its forest cover in just one year between 2005 and 2006, and has 65 percent less forest cover than it did in the early 1980s.