14 March 2011

Camera traps catch footage of endangered Javan rhinos

There are as few as 40 Javan rhinos in the world today. These beautiful animals are threatened by poaching, diseases introduced by domestic cattle and volcanic eruptions that could wipe out their only refuge in Ujung Kulon National Park. Another threat facing the Javan rhino is the increasing demand for rhino horns, which is considered to be a cure for cancer and other conditions. However, there is no real scientific evidence proving the rhino’s horns have any medicinal value. Unfortunately that does not stop people from believing in a cultural myth.

Recently conservationists celebrated the video footage that revealed two Javan rhinos in Ujung Kulon National Park. The video provided evidence the animals are actively breeding in the park which is located on the southernmost tip of the Indonesian Island of Java.

“This is fantastic news because, before these camera trap images surfaced, only twelve other Javan rhino births were recorded in the past decade,” said Adhi Hariyadi, who leads WWF-Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon Program. The footage was captured in November and December 2010 on camera traps installed by WWF Indonesia and Ujung Kulon National Park Authority.

“The population in Ujung Kulon represents the last real hope for the survival of a species that is on the brink of extinction,” added Hariyadi.

Jodi Truglio | email
Jodi is a strict vegan and animal rights advocate that grew up in up-state New York. She holds a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. In her spare time Jodi enjoys doing yoga and pilates.

Photo credit: video screen capture