Indonesia’s remote Ujung Kulon National Park holds the only viable population of the Critically Endangered Javan rhino. No more than an estimated 44 Javan rhinos remain on the planet, and surveys and other data suggest that only 4-5 females are still breeding. Evidence suggests that the species has recently been extirpated in Vietnam, where the last individual was poached in May 2010.
August 31 marked the 19th anniversary of the formation of the Javan Rhino Protection Unit. International Rhino Foundation funded Rhino Protection Units have kept the Ujung Kulon population safe from poaching.
Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) are highly-trained, four-person anti-poaching teams that intensively patrol key areas within Indonesia’s national parks. They monitor threatened wildlife, deactivate traps and snares, identify and apprehend illegal intruders, including poachers, and investigate crime scenes, thus preventing or reducing the loss of wildlife. The goal of the RPU program is to prevent the extinction of Javan rhinos and other threatened species and to protect critical habitats in Java through proactive prevention of poaching and habitat destruction. IRF and our partner, the Rhino Foundation of Indonesia (YABI), operate 4 RPUs in Ujung Kulon National Park.
Thank you to all the RPU team members for everything you do!