The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF). The conservation grant recognizes the International Rhino Foundation’s efforts to help save the critically endangered Sumatran rhino from extinction.
“The Sumatran rhino is one of the most threatened large mammals on the planet,” according to IRF’s Executive Director, Dr. Susie Ellis. “The species used to occur from the foothills of the Himalayas southward through Southeast Asia to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, but now may exist only on those two islands. Experts believe that its population now numbers in the very low hundreds at best.”
The grant from the DWCF will help support Rhino Protection Units, highly-skilled and specially-trained four-man teams that patrol the tropical forests of Indonesia’s Bukit Barisan Selatan and Way Kambas National Parks. These two protected areas are believed to hold between two-thirds and three-quarters of the world’s remaining Sumatran rhinos, and represent final strongholds for this species. Grant funds help pay the salaries of rhino rangers, as well as the costs of transportation, equipment and logistic support. RPUs spend a minimum of15 days per month in the field protecting not only Sumatran rhinos, but elephants, tigers, tapirs and dozens of other threatened species as well.
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund works to protect species and habitats, and connect kids to nature to help develop lifelong conservation values. Since its founding in 1995, DWCF has supported more than 1,000 conservation programs in 112 countries.
For information on Disney’s commitment to conserve nature visit ww.disney.com/conservation.