At least 40 endangered Sumatran tigers were killed during 2011, an official said on Tuesday.
Darori, director general of forest protection and nature conservation at the Forestry Ministry, unveiled the figure during a workshop for the implementation of the National Plan for the Revival of the Sumatran Tiger.
The official blamed the impact of growing human settlements on forests and illegal poaching as the main causes behind the deaths.
Darori did not give precise details on the recorded deaths but said that the Sumatran tiger population stood at fewer than 400. He said that from the nine tiger species in the world, three of them were already extinct. Two of the extinct subspecies are specific to Indonesia, the Java and Bali tigers.
Noviar Andayani, country director at the Wildlife Conservation Society, said other extinct tiger subspecies included the Caspian and South China tigers.
“Five other species may soon also become extinct if no according attention is paid to their habitat,” Noviar said.
An estimated 3,200 tigers are left in the world, she said, attributing their dwindling numbers to illegal tiger organ trade, expansion of agricultural lands and plantation and logging.
“Without any immediate response to save them, wild tigers may become extinct by 2022,” Noviar said.
In the latest case of a tiger death, efforts to save a male tiger, about 5 to 6 years old found trapped in a forest in Bengkulu with spear and airgun wounds, failed. The tiger, which had been flown to Java and treated at the Taman Safari park in Cisarua, died of its injuries.