With less than 70 individuals remaining, the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is claimed to be one of the rarest mammals on earth. Since the IUCN declared the Javan rhino population at Cat Tien National Park Vietnam extinct in 2011, the rhinos in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia are the only population that could potentially save the species from extinction.
Ujung Kulon National Park
Ujung Kulon National Park covers 1,206km² of the southwestern tip of Java. It is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its biodiversity. The park contains the largest remaining area of lowland rainforest in Java, critical habitat for a number of threatened plant and animal species. Apart from the rhino, there are many other species found within the park, including leopard, dhole, leopard cat, fishing cat, Javan mongoose, Javan gibbon, Javan leaf monkey, and silvered leaf monkey. Over 270 species of birds, false gharial, estuarine crocodile, and many amphibian species can also be found in the park.
Poaching and habitat loss are the primary threat to the survival of Javan Rhino. With a long and remote shoreline, Ujung Kulon National Park is easily accessible from the sea. Poaching of the Javan rhino has historically been the main management issue within the park. Increasing pressure from agricultural encroachment, illegal logging and firewood collection in the terrestrial areas, and illegal commercial fishing within the marine components of the park continue to pose a threat to the values of the property.
What is Operation Java?
We have the unique opportunity help save and protect the last 67 Javan Rhino. Global Conservation Force is partnering with Ujung Kulon National Park and Friends of Rhino Foundation to help protect the Javan Rhino.
The goal of the project is to create secure conditions for the marine and terrestrial biodiversity in and around Ujung Kulon National Park. The formation and implementation of a marine protection unit (MPU) will help deter illegal fishing, coral fishes poaching, rhino, and bird poachers and protect sea turtle nesting sites.
The implementation of an MPU involves not only the purchase of operational equipment such as boats, gear, fuel, etc. but also requires the staffing of ranger teams. A fully-operational MPU will require three teams, each consisting of 4 individuals: one national park ranger, and 3 local community rangers. The entire project will be overseen by a GCF Project Coordinator.