May 01, 2012
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Nearly all the world's remaining Javan rhino have been documented on video via camera traps in Indonesia's Ujung Kulon National Park, according to a montage put together by park authorities.
The footage shows 35 individual Javan rhinos roaming the forests of Java's Ujung Kulon National Park, the last refuge for a species believed to number between 38-48 individuals. Some of the video includes mother rhinos with young.
Susie Ellis, Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation, said the new clips are important in the effort to save the rarest rhino species from extinction. More camera traps are being added this year.
“This compilation of images from these video trap cameras provides us a peek into the secret lives of Javan rhinos – something we’ve never seen on this scale before," Ellis told mongabay.com. "The Ujung Kulon NP authorities are to be complimented on this work, diligently documenting each rhino in the areas where the cameras were set up.
"This year, to add to the cameras already donated by the Aspinall Foundation and our ability to document the Javan rhino population, International Rhino foundation and the WWF will be donating an additional 140 cameras so that we can document rhinos throughout the park," she added.
The Javan rhino is critically endangered primarily due to habitat loss. The species is also at risk from poaching, but elite rangers with the Rhino Foundation of Indonesia (YABI) have helped reduce poaching to zero in recent years. Still the outlook for the species is uncertain -- it's isolated population could be wiped out by a single disease outbreak or natural disaster. No Javan rhino presently live in captivity.
More: Fighting A Last-Ditch Battle To Save the Rare Javan Rhino