The conservation efforts of the one-horned Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) in Ujung Kulon National Park, Banten, are showing results. The condition of the natural habitat in Ujung Kulon which is still well preserved has increased the reproductive capacity of this endemic Indonesian rhino. This is evidenced by the birth of a pair of Java rhino cubs in August 2020.

The birth of Luther and Helen, thus the rhino’s name, was announced by the government through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) to coincide with the 2020 National Nature Conservation Day. The two Javan rhino chicks were known from the monitoring results of the Ujung Kulon National Park team from March to August 2020 using 93 video camera trap.

This means that until August 2020 the cumulative number of Javan rhinos according to the latest data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry has reached 74. Consisting of 40 males and 34 females with a composition of 15 chicks and 59 individuals being the juvenile-adult cluster.

According to the Director General of Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystems of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Wiratno in Jakarta, Friday (18/9/2020), Luther and Helen’s presence complements the four Javan rhino calves born last year. “The birth of the Javan rhino in Ujung Kulon National Park also confirms that its population continues to breed naturally. So that continues to provide great hope for the survival of the endangered species of Javan rhino, “said Wiratno.

Likewise, the availability of Javan rhino forage in the Ujung Kulon peninsula is still relatively very good. So as to maintain the life, behavior and development of the Javan rhino in the future.

In a day, the Javan rhino needs 50 kilograms of intake in the form of twigs and young leaves and fallen fruit. They can live in the wild up to 45 years. Generally, animals with a body height of 1.4-1.7 meters are calm, but will be aggressive when they have children.

The Javan rhino weighs between 900 kilograms and 2,300 kg. Usually they will avoid humans, but will attack humans if they feel disturbed.

The first research on the Javan rhino took place in 1787. However, the Javan rhino species was only seriously studied in 1822 by famous French scientists, Georges Cuvier and Anselme Gaetan Desmarest. They finally identified that this animal was endemic to Java Island.

Keep on Monitoring

Javan rhino researchers rarely study the animals directly because of their rarity and the danger of disturbing a threatened species. Researchers will use cameras and stool samples to measure their health and behavior. The Javan rhino is less studied than other rhino species.

Even in the Covid-19 pandemic situation, field monitoring continues to be carried out, including through video camera traps. This activity, including full protection of Luther and Helen’s presence, will continue until the end of December 2020.

“Data collection and habitat observation are continuing. This pandemic has not stopped KLHK’s field activities, especially conservation officers in Ujung Kulon National Park and other national parks in Indonesia, “said Wiratno.

As quoted from the press release of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, this year the government has allocated IDR 4 trillion from the state budget (APBN) for land rehabilitation and conservation activities in all national parks including Ujung Kulon National Park. This APBN support for conservation is important and ensures that key animals such as rhinos do not become extinct.

Rhino is one of the key endangered species. Rhinos together with elephants, orangutans, tigers, Komodo dragons and other flagship species are important species in the world.

Source : Indonesia


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