- Sumatran rhinos are one of the most endangered large mammals on the planet, with no more than 80 left in the wild.
- Not only that but biologists are challenged to even find them in the dense rainforests they call home in order to conserve them via captive breeding.
- To shed light on the animal’s precarious situation and mysterious whereabouts, this episode of the Mongabay Explores podcast series speaks with conservation biologist Wulan Pusparini.
- This ‘rhino search and rescue’ is a big challenge she tells host Mike DiGirolamo in this episode of the podcast.
The Sumatran rhino is a cute but cryptic species that teeters on the brink: with an estimated 80 individuals left in the wilds of its super dense rainforest home, experts are also divided on where they are.
With conflicting and sometimes misleading data on their whereabouts, it is exceedingly difficult to track them down, and to therefore protect them.
To discuss this ‘rhino search and rescue’ as she calls it, host Mike DiGirolamo contacted repeat guest Wulan Pusparini, who studied them as a species conservation specialist with the Wildlife Conservation Society before pursuing her Ph.D. in Environmental Conservation at Oxford University.
Articles discussed on this episode:
- Rarely seen Sumatran rhinos are now even more elusive as threats close in
- Signs, but no sightings: The phantom rhinos of Sumatra’s Bukit Barisan Selatan
Mongabay Explores Sumatra is a special podcast series that dives into the unique beauty, natural heritage, and key issues facing this one of a kind landscape by speaking with people working to study, understand, and protect it. Episode 1 features a Goldman Prize winner from Sumatra about what makes his home so special, listen here, and further programs have focused on the people working to save the Sumatran rhino, the reasons why deforestation is so widespread in the province, and how a hydropower dam in the Batang Toru Ecosystem threatens core habitat of the world’s rarest great ape, the Tapanuli orangutan. The majesty and plight of the Sumatran tiger has also been discussed during the series, as well as that of Sumatran elephants and Sumatran orangutans.
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Banner image: Female Sumatran rhino Bina is believed to have been born around 1985, and was captured in 1991. She is one of seven rhinos residing at the sanctuary in Way Kambas. Image courtesy of the International Rhino Foundation.