Wed, 06 Aug 2003

Indonesian rhino facing extinction

BOGOR, West Java: The Indonesian black rhino was on the brink of extinction, with numbers throughout the country now below 300, Rhino Partnership Foundation (YMR) secretary Effendy A Sumardja warned Tuesday.

The forestry ministry's director general for forest and nature conservation, Koes Sapardjadi, estimated there were only 200 Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus Sumatrensis) and no more than 60 Javanese rhinos left alive.

He called on all people to help save the rhinos from vanishing.

Effendy attributed the decline to the rhino's dwindling natural habitat and rampant illegal poaching.

"The slow breeding of rhinos has also contributed to the drop in population," he said. -- Antara