Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Critically Endangered Sumatran Rhino rediscovered in Indonesian Borneo

WWF team find footprints of rhinos on Borneo
March 2013. A WWF team on the island of Borneo to monitor and Orang-utan population have discovered what they believe to be the footprints of a critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros, where it was believed that the rhino had been extinct for some time.

The WWF staff were monitoring a population of orang-utans in West Kutai district of East Kalimantan. Having discovered the footprints, they conducted a further survey of the area along with government forestry officials and scientists from a local university. The survey discovered further footprints, and some horn scratches at mud holes, as well as trees used as rubbing posts and bite marks on plants, raising the possibility that there may be more than one lone animal, though numbers remain unclear.

The Sumatran rhino was believed to have been extinct in Indonesian Borneo since the 1990s. and fewer than 200 animals exist anywhere in the world in the wild, still live in the wild in Indonesia and Malaysia.

According to the WWF: Current population & distribution
The Borneo Sumatran rhino is now possibly extinct in Sarawak (Malaysia) and Kalimantan (Indonesia), with perhaps fewer than 25 surviving in Sabah (Malaysia). A 2005 survey in the interior of Sabah found evidence of at least 13 rhinos, and scattered individuals are found in other parts of the state.

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