Forest overexploitation forcing tigers to newer grounds: Walhi

Palembang, South Sumatra (ANTARA) - Over-exploitation of forests in Sumatra has compelled Sumatran tigers to flee their habitats, stray into human settlements, and attack local villagers, M. Hairul Sobri, executive director of Indonesia's Environmental Forum (Walhi) South Sumatra chapter, stated.

"Excessive exploitation of forests to make way for plantations, mining, and other interests resulted in the destruction of habitats, dwellings, and breeding area of tigers and other animals. Hence as a consequence, the wild animals flee their habitat and attack humans," Sobri explained here on Friday.

During the last three months, Walhi recorded over 20 cases of tigers attacking humans in the South Sumatra region, specifically in Pagaralam, Lahat, Empat Lawang, Muara Enim, North Musi Rawas, Musi Banyuasin, and Ogan Komering Ulu.

Sobri has appealed to the local government and related agencies to take immediate actions to prevent forest exploitation that has caused damage to wildlife habitat.

"Do not allow illegal logging, plantation development, and excessive forest activities to damage the habitat, since wild animals can flee their habitat and disrupt human life as has been observed in several districts andd cities in South Sumatra in recent months," he noted.

Overexploitation can also lead to ecological disasters, including floods and landslides, he added.

Source: ANTARA News

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