Indonesia: Ministry to relocate one-horned rhino in West Java

Antara 6 Apr 13;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Forestry Ministry will do its best to relocate one-horned rhinoceroses from their habitat in Ujung Kulon National Park (TNUK) in Banten province to a certain place in West Java.

"The number of rhinoceroses in the park has been increasing. So we will do our best to relocate the animals," Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said here on Friday.

The minister said the rhinoceroses would be relocated to a new location in West Java. "Possibly in Sukabumi or other areas in West Java. We still have many places that could be used as rhino`s habitat," the minister added.

However, the minister expressed concern about whether the new location would be suitable for the rare species. Zulkifli admitted that it was not easy to find a location which was really suitable, particularly for protected animals.

"It is a challenge. We are still looking for a location and are conducting popularization to the people so that the fate experienced by an orangutan in Kalimantan recently would not be repeated," the minister said.

He said that the people still lacked awareness of the need to conserve the protected animals.

Based on the forestry ministry monitoring which was done by the Directorate General for Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHAK), the population of Java rhinoceroses in 2012 was recorded at 51. They consisted of 29 male and 22 female. Eight of the female were calves.

"This is encouraging development," the minister said.

He said that the population of Java rhinoceroses was only found in the TNUK park because its population in Vietnam was already declared extinct.(*)