Petir Garda Bhwana, Tempo.Co | September 21, 2020
The Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry announced the birth of two Javan rhinos (Rhinoceros sondaicus Desmarest 1822) in the Ujung Kulon National Park, Banten Province, on Sunday to mark the commemoration of this year’s National Nature Conservation Day.
The male baby rhino is named after “Luther” while the female one is named after “Helen”, Director General of Nature Resources and Ecosystem Conservation at the Environment and Forestry Ministry Wiratno said in a statement that ANTARA received here Sunday.
The birth of this rhino couple revealed that the natural habitat of these critically-endangered mammals in the national park apparently remains well preserved, he said, adding that last year, four baby Javan rhinos were born in the national park area.
The births of these one-horned rhinos also revealed that the population of this species had kept rising and given a hope for a successful Javan rhino conservation efforts, Wiratno said.
The living condition of Luther and Helen is precisely known from 93 video cameras that the Ujung Kulon National Park authority installed for monitoring the rhino couple from March to August, he said.
The food availability for the Javan rhinos in the protected national park area is more than enough, he added.
As of August 2020, the total Javan rhino population in Indonesia has reached 74 individuals comprising 40 males and 34 females, according to the Environment and Forestry Ministry.
Indonesia has been striving to conserve its rhino species for decades. As a result, the population of one-horned Javan rhinos and two-horned Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is believed to have increased quite encouragingly over the past few years.
ANTARA noted that the Javan and Sumatran rhinos are two out of only five species of rhinos that have survived globally.
The remaining three species are the Indian rhino, which can be found in Nepal, India and Bhutan; the White rhino, commonly found in Botswana, the Ivory Coast, Congo, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and the Black rhino in Cameron, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana.
The Javan rhino had once occurred from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and probably southern China through peninsular Malaya to the Indonesian island of Java. But, beginning in the middle of the 19th century, the species was extirpated from most of its historical range.
Since 2010, two rhino subspecies, the Western Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis longipes) in Cameroon and the Indochinese Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticu) in Vietnam have also gone extinct.
The Javan rhino now is only found in isolated area in the Ujung Kulon National Park (Pandeglang, Banten Province), at the western-most tip of Java Island.