Image via YouTube video screengrab
Last week we brought you video from WWF of some incredibly cute, and unfortunately endangered tiger cubs playing in the forest of Bukit Tigapuluh, or "Thirty Hills," which is under pressure from paper and timber companies. This is a rare place where endangered Sumatran tigers, elephants, rhinos, and orangutans all live in the same ecosystem, and while some is marked as national park, other areas of the landscape have permits pending for deforestation by large logging companies. WWF has put together a Google Earth animation that explains this area's vital importance for these iconic species, and what threats they face. Click through to watch.
The new animation highlights areas of the Bukit Tigapuluh landscape that are currently zoned for logging by major companies Barito Pacific Group, Asia Paper Resources International Limited (APRIL), and Sinar Mas Group, which controls Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). Maps of the wildlife habitat are overlaid to show the level of impact the timber and paper companies will have on already threatened and endangered species.
MongaBay reports, "Bukit Tigapuluh's forests are among the most biodiverse in Sumatra and scientists consider them a top priority for conservation due to the large-scale destruction of the majority of the island's lowland rainforests. A section of the landscape is protected in Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, but most of this consists of upland forest, which while threatened, is less endangered than lowland forest. Most of the lowland forest lies outside protected areas and is already concessioned for logging by companies."
WWF hopes that this video will educate people across the globe about the plight of this vital landscape, and hopefully put pressure on the paper companies to stop their advances into these areas. It's a smart strategy, as Google Earth has proved to be a valuable resource for conservation efforts in the past.
As Yale e360 notes, "Google Earth has become an increasingly popular campaign tool for environmental organizations. Groups such as the Amazon Conservation Team and Amazon Watch have used it in efforts to halt illegal logging and the proposed construction of a dam on the Amazon River."
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More on Sumatran Tigers
Tiger Cam Captures the Destruction of a Forest (Video)
Adorable Endangered Tiger Cubs Caught on Camera...In Forest Marked to be Cleared (Video)
First-Time Footage of Super Rare Sumatran Tiger & Cubs Released (Video)
Indonesia Allows Adoption of Sumatran Tigers as Pets for $100,000