Javan Rhino Wonderful Facts
The World’s Most Endangered Species
The Javan rhinoceros is one of the most endangered species in the world (Dermarest, 1822). The population only remains in Ujung Kulon National Park. This animal is protected by law in Indonesia and is one of the 25 main priority species for wildlife conservation in Indonesia. The Javan rhino is included in the critically endangered category (IUCN Red List Data Book) and Appendix 1 CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). The Ujung Kulon National Park Office has been monitoring the population since 1967. Monitoring results until October 2023 show that the Javan Rhinoceros population is 81 individuals, including 5 individuals born in 2021, 3 individuals born in 2022, and 2 individuals recorded born until October 2023.
Needs Habitat Expansion
Adult rhinoceroses are recorded as having a large daily home range, namely up to 54 square km (Suhono & Muntasib, 2001). The carrying capacity of the habitat on the Ujung Kulon Peninsula, which covers an area of 380 square km, is estimated to be limited to only 70 individuals. Not to mention if it is reduced by a decrease in carrying capacity due to the natural succession process, or the process of changing ecological aspects that occur due to environmental modification, the carrying capacity of the Javan rhinoceros habitat on the Ujung Kulon Peninsula is considered to have been exceeded. The Indonesian government is also very aware that small populations in single habitats are highly vulnerable to extinction, even if habitat protection has been implemented effectively. Now, the government is working on other suitable areas, both outside the Ujung Kulon Peninsula area and even outside the Ujung Kulon National Park area, to expand the habitat of the Javan Rhinoceros.
All Javan Rhinos Have Names
The Ujung Kulon National Park Office has been monitoring the population since 1967. Every rhino that has been identified will be given a nickname, apart from a code in the form of a number. The names given to rhinos are inspired by many things. These include the names of conservation fighters, the names of conservation areas, and local wisdom around conservation areas. Some examples of names given are Manggala which is inspired by the name of a building belonging to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Irna which is the name of one of the Regents of Pandeglang who is considered a conservation hero, and Mayang which is taken from the name of a river on the Ujung Kulon Peninsula which is a concentration area for Javan Rhino.
Javan rhinos really like solitude. It lives a solitary life and spends time wallowing to keep its skin moist. They really don’t like the presence of other creatures, including humans. If they accidentally meet a human and feel pressured, they can attack and cause fatal consequences. Therefore, direct and too-close encounters with the Javan Rhinoceros should be avoided by researchers, photographers, and forest guards. They should observe the rhinos from the top of a tree or from a safe distance.