Calves of rare Javan Rhino found in Indonesia

December 24th, 2008 - 3:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Jakarta, Dec 24 (Xinhua) Four calves of Javan Rhinoceros, one the world’s most endangered species, have been found in an Indonesian jungle this week, indicating that they have started breeding and raising hope of saving it from extinction.It is believed that the specie, which is found only in the Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java, could not breed due to unfavourable environmental conditions, said Hadi Alikadri, head of species programme of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Indonesia.

The park is home to some 40-60 Javan Rhinoceroses (Rhinoceros sondaicus).

“Conservationists have found four calves (Javan Rhinoceroses) during a survey this week,” Alikadri said Wednesday, adding that the calves are around four-year old.

He said the finding put the total number of calves that have been born in the last three years to seven.

“The high population of wild bulls coupled with a type of plant widely grown, but disliked by the rhinos, hampered their breeding in the park,” said Alikadri.

“These factors must be reduced. The population of wild bull (around 700) and the amount of the plant must be slashed,” he said.

The Javan Rhino is sensitive to disturbances, which can force them to abort breeding that is limited to just once a year, said Alikadri.

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