TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Director of the Biodiversity Conservation at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Bambang Dahono Adji, said that the Cikepuh wildlife reserve located in West Java is compatible for the relocation of the rare Javan rhinoceros or rhinoceros sondaicus.
“[The location] was decided through experts’ consideration,” Bambang said.
The Javan rhinoceros is one out of five rare species in the world and is already considered as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Currently, the one and only habitat of the species is at the Ujung Kulon national park.
“Experts predict that there are only 67 rhinos left,” Bambang explained.
Based on previous data, there were only 60 Javan rhinos. It is predicted that the arrival of seven rhinos was caused by inbreeding.
The 67 number is considered as overcapacity, therefore, a transfer of the species is urgently needed, Bambang said. The ministry is currently preparing the process, starting from introducing the transfer plan earlier to the local residents that live in the vicinity of Cikepuh wildlife reserve considering that encroachment often takes place there.