Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 13257918
Established in 1993, the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) is dedicated to the survival of the world’s five rhino species through conservation and research. At the heart of IRF’s vision is the belief that these magnificent creatures must endure for future generations, and that by protecting rhinos, other species, including people, can benefit.
IRF funds and operates field conservation programs in Asia and Africa, targeting the rhino species and populations that are most in need of and provide the most feasible opportunities for intensive management. IRF’s anti-poaching and protection programs also provide significant benefits for other threatened species and help safeguard critical habitat. In all our field programs, we work closely with local communities to ensure that those people living in closest proximity to rhinos (many of whom are also struggling as a result of poverty and environmental degradation) are active partners, reaping direct benefits from conservation efforts.
IRF’s current major programs include: 1) Indonesia Rhino Protection Units (RPUs), anti-poaching patrol units that protect Javan and Sumatran rhinos in the wild; 2) the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, a research and breeding center for Sumatran rhinos in Way Kambas National Park; 3) Javan Rhino Habitat Expansion in Ujung Kulon National Park; 4) Indian Rhino Vision 2020, a program aimed at increasing the number of greater one-horned rhinos and re-distributing the population over more protected areas; and 5) the Zimbabwe Lowveld Rhino Conservation Program, which provides management, monitoring and veterinary interventions for black rhinos in Zimbabwe. IRF also sponsors scientific research that enhances the health and viability of captive rhino populations and maximizes their contribution to conservation in nature.
Thanks to the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, the Javan Rhino Study and Conservation Area (JRSCA) in the Gunung Honje section of Ujung Kulon National Park is well underway. Fifteen hectares of land have been cleared of the invasive Arenga palm and native rhino food plants are rapidly re-generating without assistance. In non-forest areas, such as former rice fields, we are using enrichment planting to encourage rhino food-plant growth. We believe that the best way to remove the palm is with significant local community assistance, which benefits the rhinos as well as improves local livelhihoods. To date, JRSCA has provided employment for 120 local residents for part-time work, including several individuals (representing some 61 families) who had previously been removed from illegal settlements from with UKNP by government authorities.
The clearing of additional rhino habitat has resulted in an increase in the number of rhinos recorded within the Gunung Honje forests. Prior to clearing the Arenga palm, only two rhinos were occasionally seen in the area. By the end of 2014, nine individual rhinos were regularly seen in the newly reclaimed plots.
Project 13257918 location - Indonesia, Asia