The Race to Save Javan Rhinos is On

There are only 48 Javan rhinos left in the world. For conservationists and animal lovers that is a frightening number. Conservationists are afraid that a single natural disaster or the introduction of a disease to their home on the island of Java could wipe out the species forever.

To try to prevent this a safe haven is being created in the Ujung Kulon National Park on the island. The International Rhino Foundation and its partners are creating 9,884 acres of expanded habitat. The foundation has raised more than half of the 650,000 dollars needed for the effort, but another 300,000 still needs to be raised.

The 300,000 still needed will go toward planting food for the rhinos, constructing wallows, create water sources, build patrol routes and guard towers, and hire guards to keep poachers away.

If you’d like to help or learn more about the Javan rhino, visit The International Rhino Foundation.

Rare Javan Rhino Dies

The International Rhino Foundation announced that a carcass of a highly endangered Javan rhino was discovered in Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park last week.

From the press release:

Ujung Kulon holds the only viable population of the critically endangered species; no more than 48 Javan rhinos remain on the planet, and at least 44 of those are found in Ujung Kulon.  Fewer than four animals of unknown sex and age may remain in an isolated population in Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam, where the carcass of a poached Javan rhino was found last month.

“Javan rhinos persist in Ujung Kulon because they are carefully monitored and guarded by Rhino Protection Units, elite anti-poaching teams that patrol the park every day.  While the loss of this rhino was tragic, it appears to have died from natural causes rather than poaching,” said Dr. Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation.

Ellis went on to say, “Rhino experts agree that expanding the usable habitat in Ujung Kulon is an important first step. The next priority will be to establish a second viable population of Javan rhino at a suitable site elsewhere in Indonesia as an ‘insurance’ population. This will be essential if we are to safeguard it from natural and human-caused disasters and to ultimately prevent its extinction.”

If you would like to help Javan rhinoceroses, visit www.rhinos-irf.org.

Rhino skeleton

Skeleton of a male Javan rhino found last week on a densely forested trail in Indonesia's Ujung Kulon National Park. Forensic evidence suggests he died in March of natural causes.

Rhino bones laid out

The skeleton of the rhino laid out, with the horn still intact.