The Java Rhino population at the Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java has increased 50% in the last 5 years due to Government-Private partnership, said Mohammad Haryono, Head of the Ujung Kulon National Park and Coordinator of the Working Group for the Conservation of the Java Rhino (rhinoceros sondaicus). The Working Group consists of government officials of the Park, Non-governmental agencies, companies and academics. Video cameras placed at several locations in this extensive park have recorded 35 rhinos, among which are a number of young ones. This means that our efforts to save the endangered rhino are creating results. There is this small community here that sincerely cares for the conservation of the animals, continued Haryono. Rhinos are very shy and elusive animals, very rarely seen live. In the dense jungle, their images can be captured only on strategically placed videos. In the past 12 months, the Working Group has concentrated not only on the growth of the rhino population but also ensured improved welfare of the local population in surrounding villages through training and education for alternative livelihood, so as to stop poaching into the Park. Among the projects is the contstruction of a 3.4 km. bamboo pipeline to supply clean water to remote villages. Aida Greenbury, Managing Director Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), whose company is involved in the conservation of the Java rhino, added that conservation efforts need a strategic approach which includes economic development of the local population besides improved habitat for the animals. One action for the latter is to control the growth of the plant species called “langkap” which destroys the plant food for the rhinos. The Ujung Kulon National Park, located in the extreme south west of the island of Java opposite the Krakatau volcano, covers an area of 122,451 hectares, and is surrounded by 15 villages. The Park today counts a total of 35 rhinos. (Source: indonesia.travel Bisnis Indonesia).
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