Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rare Javan Rhinos Recorded on Camera (Video) *Critically Endangered: 40+ rhinos remaining*


Javan or Sundan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

Rare Javan Rhinos Recorded on Camera

A World Wildlife Fund (WWF) effort has captured critically endangered Javan rhinos on camera trap video. WWF estimates the worldwide population of Javan rhinos at "40-60 in Ujung Kulon National Park, Java, Indonesia; no more than 8 in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam. The Javan (or lesser one-horned) rhino is on the brink of extinction. Fewer than 60 individuals are thought to survive in the wild, and there are none in captivity." The species was once widespread throughout southeast Asia.

The 2 rhinos (mothers and cub) in the video below were recorded in the dense tropical rain forest of Ujung Kulon National Park, Java, Indonesia. (Original report stated 2 mothers and 2 cubs, but apparently changed later to 1 mother and 1 cub) This evidence of breeding gives hope for the sustainability of the species. Besides habitat destruction by deforestation, poaching is a danger for these rhinos. The horns are desired in traditional Chinese medicine and can be worth up to $30,000 per kilogram on the black market.

The Indonesian government has stated their desire to make the Ujung Kulon National Park into a Javan Rhino conservation park. A spokesman said, "It shows that this population is breeding. In the last 10 years we have found 12 babies that have been captured by the cameras. It gives us hope for the rhinos' future."

Reuters "Rare Rhinos Captured on Camera" Hidden cameras in Indonesia's Ujung Kulon National Park film a rare endangered Javan Rhino mother with her calves. Gemma Haines reports.

World Wildlife Fund: Help Protect Javan Rhinos
There are as few as 40 Javan rhinos left in the world, making it one of the rarest large mammal species. Poaching, disease, and the very real threat of a tsunami or a volcanic eruption could wipe out the entire population in Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon Park.

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