Expert warns rapid population decline of Rhinos in Sumatra - The population of Sumatran and Javanese rhinos has rapidly declined in the last eight years due to low population growth rate, stated the Director of Indonesian Rhino Foundation or Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI) Widodo Ramono.
"Rhinos have become extinct in Jambi, West Sumatra, and Bengkulu, which were once thriving rhino habitats. Only around 100 monitored rhinos inhabit Lampung, of which 30 rhinos are in Waykambas, while the rest are in the South Bukit Barisan National Park," Ramono of YABI said here on Thursday.
Andatu (left), the male Sumatra rhino is born in East Lampung on June 23. The birth of the rhino was the first after the breeding conservation in Asia 124 years ago.
Ramono noted that the rhino population had rapidly declined in the last eight years and the numbers have dropped from 800 to only 100.
A serious conservation effort is required for the endangered animal.
"Poaching and forest encroachment will lead to rhino extinction," Ramono remarked.
YABI, a non-governmental organization, was established in 2006 for conserving the rhino population in Waykambas, Lampung.
"In early 2013, we barely identified 100 rhinos. Unfortunately, the conservation efforts are not able to make a significant impact on the rhino population due to the high extinction rates," Ramono said.
Therefore, the NGO has urged the government to reinforce laws on wildlife conservation.
"As wildlife poaching destroys the ecosystem, hence strict action is required against the perpetrators," he emphasized.
This article originally appeared in : Expert warns rapid population decline of Rhinos in Sumatra | Antara/M Agung Rajasa | Thursday, 19 December 2013, 23:15 WIB