The Endangered Fate of the Javan Rhino in Indonesia

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    Javan Rhino

    The World Conservation Organization or World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Indonesia states that two of the five species of rhinos that are critically endangered in the world currently live in Indonesia.

    The first species is the Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), the only Asian rhino that has two horns, and the other species that survives in Indonesian forests is the Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus), which has only one horn.

    Both of these species survive the threat of extinction due to habitat constriction, infectious diseases, and illegal hunting.

    The World Conservation Organization or World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Indonesia states that two of the five species of rhinos that are critically endangered in the world currently live in Indonesia.

    The first species is the Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), the only Asian rhino that has two horns, and the other species that survives in Indonesian forests is the Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus), which has only one horn.

    Both of these species survive the threat of extinction due to habitat constriction, infectious diseases, and illegal hunting.

    In the ‘red list’ of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) World Conservation Institute and in Law Number 5 of 1990 concerning the Conservation of Living Natural Resources and their Ecosystems, both species are categorized as critically endangered (CR).

    The regulation stipulates that these two species cannot be harmed, killed, kept or trafficked and if this law is violated, the perpetrator will be subject to a prison sentence of 5 years and a fine of Rp100 million.

    WWF said that just like elephants are hunted for their ivory, rhinos are hunted for their horns and then sold on the black market. Its trade, even to the international market, is a transnational crime.

    Rhino horn is believed to be a traditional medicine that can cure various diseases, but in reality this is not scientifically proven. Rhino horn is composed of keratin like human nails and hair, so it doesn’t have any properties.

    Endangered Conservation of the Javan Rhino

    Minister of Environment and Forestry (LHK) Siti Nurbaya said the Javan rhino population in Indonesia until 2019 was 72 individuals.

    “There are 72 Javanese bada individuals with a composition of 39 males and 33 females,” said Siti quoting Antara, Tuesday (15/9).

    Nowadays, Javan rhino conservation efforts only exist in the Ujung Kulon Peninsula, namely the Ujung Kulon National Park (TNUK) in Banten Province.

    The Director of Biodiversity Conservation of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indra Exploitasia, confirmed that there has been no change in Indonesia’s conservation status in 2019, where the Javan rhino has not yet changed its status, with one population numbering under 100.

    “So, until now the status is still critically in danger. So, it is not extinct,” he said.

    Data from the Indonesian Rhino Foundation (YBI) refers to the release of the Ujung Kulon National Park (TNUK) in 2016, the number of Javan rhinos is only 67, and the Javan rhino population is currently only found in Ujung Kulon.

    The Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said Indra, is still waiting for the latest IUCN data because the Ministry of Environment and Forestry uses all the categories established by the IUCN as the basis for determining conservation status in Indonesia.

    Regarding the number of Javan rhinos recorded by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry when compared to data from the TNUK Center for 2016, he said that there was an increase compared to the data from the TNUK Center for 2016, namely the Javan rhino population increased from 62 to 68 individuals.

    “At least, we can already see that there is an increase in one particular habitat condition, namely the Javan rhino is increasing,” he said.

    If Indra Exploitasia stated that the Javan rhino population was 68 in 2019, while the Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya said that it had reached 72 in 2020, quantitatively there was an increase.

    The IUCN stated that there are nine categories of “red list” in conservation status, namely first: not evaluated (not evaluated / NE), second, lack of data (data deficient / DD), third, least concern (LC), fourth, near threatened (NT).

    Then, the fifth is vulnerable (Vu), sixth, endangered (EN), seventh is critically endangered (CR), eighth, extinct in the wild / EW, and ninth extinct. .

    Judging from the threat status of the Javan rhino, and also the Sumatran rhino, if we refer to the IUCN ‘red list’ it is categorized as critically endangered (CR), which is a category one level below extinction in nature, it is inevitable that serious conservation efforts must be taken to protect wildlife. this.

    The protection of the Javan rhino is absolutely necessary so that it does not follow in the footsteps of the extinction of the Bali tiger (Panthera tigris balica) and the Javan tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica).