No Rhinos left in Sabah
"There are no Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in the Malaysian state of Sabah, confirmed Masidi Manjun, the Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister "(18 April 2015) "We are facing the prospect of our Sumatran rhinos going extinct in our lifetime,” Manjun noted. (Jeremy Hance, Mongabay 23 April 2015)
The Rhinos in Sumatra, across the Java Sea from Borneo, are hanging on by a thread. There are 2, possibly 3, potentially viable populations left in Sumatra. One of those is in the Way Kambas National Park where there are believed to be about 25 individual Rhinos.
Amazing Birth - SUMATRAN RHINO.
The rare rhino was born on Thursday May 12 2016 at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park.
This is the second baby to be born to mother Ratu. It is believed that only 100 still exist in the wild.
The big challenge will be to find breeding partners for this baby and its sibling born in 2012.
- The Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is considered very close to extinction with only 9 ex-situ individuals and less than 100 in the wild. Way Kambas National Park (WKNP) is recognised for its relatively well-protected viable population (Nardelli 2014).
- Nardelli (2014) considers it realistic that there are 25 individuals living in WKNP, International Rhino Foundation estimates 25 – 35 individuals (IRF 2015), and with recent camera trap photos of young in the wild (Riyanto 2013) the population may be expanding.
- IRF believe no rhinos have been poached in 7 years due to active anti-poaching rhino patrol units.
- However the park rainforest habitat is up to 50% degraded by logging last century and ongoing anthropogenic fire. The last quick survey of elephant, tiger and rhino distribution, conducted in 2008 in a collaboration between Way Kambas NP, Rhino Protection Unit, Tiger Conservation Program and the Wildlife Conservation Society, showed that rhino population had retreated to areas in the centre of the park with dense rainforest habitat and canopy, and were not seen in degraded areas.
- If the rhino population is to expand then the park requires extensive habitat regeneration with projects incorporating long-term protection. The WKNP regeneration project, commenced 2011, consists of broad scale, long term projects aiming to regenerate and protect areas which were previously inhabited by rhinos, but for many years have been degraded by fire. The project uses fast growing fire resistant species to accelerate canopy development and diminish susceptibility to devastation by fire, and plants rhino food trees, to create suitable habitat for rhinos.