Approaches: Ujung Kulon

Anti-poaching patrols, supported by WWF, the International Rhino Foundation and other conservation partners, have helped Ujung Kulon's rhino population recover and these patrols continue to safeguard them today. Anti-poaching patrols enforce other wildlife laws as well, protecting many bird species from trapping and the park's coral reefs from dynamite fishing.

A stable population
Since the mid-70s, the rhino population appears to have stabilized within the park, with most recent data indicating a population between 50 and 60 today. This is likely the only viable population of Javan rhinos in the world. The only other home for this once widespread species is in Vietnam, where less than 10 individuals still survive.

Estimated carrying capacity of the Park
Preliminary studies show that Ujung Kulon National Park has the capacity to support perhaps 80-100 Javan rhinos. Contrasting with the rhino's somewhat static population, the population of endangered banteng has thrived in Ujung Kulon, increasing to 300-800 animals today.

Previous research has shown that 62 plant species eaten by Javan rhinos are also eaten by banteng. Therefore, it is possible that interspecific competition with banteng is preventing the rhino population from growing further. WWF is conducting research to test this possibility.

Understanding the rhino to better protect it
WWF is also using fecal DNA analysis and camera traps to gain a better understanding of the rhino's current population structure. WWF will also 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 for a new population is identified.

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