Population of Sumatran Rhinos in East Kalimantan Down to 12-15

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe population of the Sumatran rhinos (dicerorhinus sumatrensis) in West Kutai Regency to Mahakam Ulu, East Kalimantan Province is predicted to down into 12-15 species left. This animal is on the verge of extinction due to hunting carried out many years ago.

    The  East Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Office (BKSDA) head, Sunandar Trigunajasa, said that hunting threats and habitat fragmentation is one of the factors in the declining populations of rhino in the regions.

    Earlier, the government released a female rhinoceros named Pahu that previously trapped to the Kelian Rhino Sanctuary (SBK) in a bid to preserve the endangered species. Pahu was first quarantined for three months.

    Read also: Sumatran Rhino Rescued from Pit Trap in East Kalimantan

    "The release of Pahu rhinoceros to the Kelian Rhino Sanctuary is necessary for the effort to maintain the rhino population that continues to drop," said Sunandar in West Kutai, on Wednesday, March 20.

    The Environment and Forestry Ministry (KLHK)’s director general for natural resources and ecosystem conservation, Wiratno, appreciated the team and all parties involved in the release process, especially locals.

    Wiratno deemed that the release was the first step in preserving Sumatran rhinos habitat, and so help from many parties are required, such as intensive semi-natural breeding.

    "The next challenge is to immediately find male rhinos in Kalimantan which is believed to still exist, given that Pahu's age is no longer young of about more than 25 years. The presence of male species can accelerate the success of breeding programs," he added.

    ANTARA