WWF is working with local wildlife officials in Indonesia, using camera traps to help conduct surveys that will provide range maps for rhinos in Java and tigers in Sumatra.
These maps let us know where the endangered species live, and provide crucial information to share with local governments making land-use decisions, such as what forests most need to be protected from logging or conversion to agriculture.
The cameras will also help provide invaluable information on the number of rhino and tigers living in various habitat types and determine whether there are adequate food resources for them to survive. The results could have significant implications for species and forest preservation here and around the world.
Camera trap operators caught in their own trap during camera installation in Kerumutan, Sumatra, Indonesia.
The Javan rhinoceros, numbering fewer than 60 individuals in the wild, is probably the rarest large mammal species in the world.
Indonesia's Ujung Kulon National Park, on the western-most tip of the island of Java, is home to the world's largest population. A smaller population of less than 10 rhinos is clinging to survival in Vietnam's Cat Tien National Park.
Ujung Kulon is absolutely critical for the survival of the Javan rhino. Anti-poaching patrols, supported by WWF and other conservation partners, have helped the park’s rhino population recover and these patrols continue to safeguard them today.
WWF is also using camera traps to gain a better understanding of the rhino's current population structure and behaviour patterns. To date, the cameras have helped record the birth of a baby rhino and the movements of two juveniles.
WWF will continue to assess habitat and rhino food availability in Ujung Kulon, as well as the feasibility of translocating rhinos to establish a new population elsewhere, once a suitable and secure site is identified.
The Sumatran tiger, numbering no more than 400 individuals in the wild, is found exclusively on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the last stronghold for tigers in Indonesia.
Whereas tigers were formerly widespread on Bali and Java in the 20th century, these subspecies have been exterminated. The last observation in Bali dates back to the late 1930s, and the Javan tiger was recorded for the last time during a survey in 1976. There have been no confirmed records since.
Accelerating deforestation and rampant poaching across the Sumatran tiger's range mean that unless urgent action is taken, the Sumatran tiger will shortly follow the fate of its extinct relatives of Java and Bali.