Today, in advance of World Rhino Day on September 22, five of the world’s leading international conservation organizations announced the formation of a groundbreaking strategic partnership to save the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros from extinction. The effort, established to support the Government of Indonesia’s national Sumatran rhino conservation breeding program, is led by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission, in coordination with Global Wildlife Conservation, International Rhino Foundation, National Geographic Society, and WWF.
With fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos left in the world, the species faces a crisis point. Without intervention, the Sumatran rhino will soon go extinct. After decades of poaching and habitat loss, the greatest threat facing the species is the distance that separates their small populations. Unable to easily find mates, many breeding age Sumatran rhinos risk infertility as a result of extended isolation. In their current fragmented and dispersed pockets across two vast Indonesian islands, hope for their survival depends on conservationists’ ability to find and safely relocate them to specialized facilities designed for their care.