- Date: September 15, 2015
Much-needed hope for the critically endangered Javan rhino has come in the form of three calves. The calves—one female and two males—were spotted on new camera trap footage from earlier this year, bringing the total number of Javan rhinos up to 60. There are none in captivity.
The Indonesian island of Java is home to around 135 million people and the last of the Javan rhinos. The species clings on to survival in Ujung Kulon National Park, a peninsula that is being squeezed in by a sea of human development, swallowed by an aggressive invasion of Arenga palm, and one natural disaster away from extinction.
But despite the threats, the Javan rhinos are breeding.
“The videos of Javan calves are proof that our conservation efforts are working and that we must ramp up our efforts to secure the fragile gains made in the Javan rhino population,” said Dr. Barney Long, Director of Species Conservation at WWF-US. “WWF will prioritize three immediate actions—ramping up antipoaching efforts, Arenga palm management to enable rhino population expansion in Ujung Kulon, and securing political will to establish a second population. We must work together to ensure that Javan rhinos have the opportunity to recover in a manner similar to three other rhino species.”
The videos come from more than 90 camera traps placed in the national park to help us better understand Javan rhinos. WWF is applying the best technologies and science-based methods to sharpen conservations strategies. We have been partnering with the Indonesia government on Javan rhino conservation since 1962. We also work closely with local communities and partners including the Rhino Foundation of Indonesia (YABI) and the International Rhino Foundation.