Last month, the Indonesian Government announced that a first Sumatran rhino, a female named Pahu, was successfully rescued from a small isolated forest patch in Kalimantan, with the support of WWF, local partners and Sumatran Rhino Rescue.
In an enormous setback for wildlife conservation, China announced it will allow hospitals to use tiger bone and rhino horn from captive-bred animals for traditional medicine. The decision reverses a decades-old ban that has been instrumental in preventing the extinction of endangered tigers and rhinos.
The plight of Sumatran rhinos needs global attention and commitments if conservation is to succeed. The science is telling us that we can’t put off mounting a serious, concerted effort to save Sumatran rhinos. We have pulled three species of rhino back from the brink so we know we can do the same for the Sumatran rhino.
As conservationists, we have learned what it takes to help rhinos recover from the very edge of extinction.The formula is quite simple: protect rhinos where they exist, incentivize community stewardship of rhino populations, manage populations for maximum growth, establish new populations in suitable locations for maximum protection and population growth. This formula is achievable, but it does require political will and resources to see the plan through.
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