News Release

Saving the Sumatran Rhino

15 March 2013
31 March to 4 April, 2013
Photo: Sumatran Rhino Summit

With the number of Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) estimated to be less than 200 and declining rapidly, urgent action is needed to save this species from extinction.

Listed as Critically Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Sumatran rhino is the smallest and last form of the Two-horned hairy rhinos that have lived on the planet for 20 million years.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SCC) is convening the Sumatran Rhino Crisis Summit (SRCS) from 31 March to 4 April, 2013 in Singapore to review the Sumatran rhino situation and existing conservation strategies; identify key issues that require action; and rally all stakeholders behind a new global conservation plan that is expected to layout clear and immediate actions needed to prevent the species from becoming extinct.

Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). Photo: International Rhino Foundation (IRF) - Bill KonstantThere will be a particular focus on the last wild populations of Sumatran rhinos in Sumatra in Indonesia and in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, where the population is on the verge of extinction.

It is expected that this meeting which includes stakeholders and participants beyond rhino experts and conservationists, will be successful in engaging global attention and will provide a fresh impetus to the objective of raising the 30 million Euros that is estimated as the minimum cost over the next five years to save this species. The meeting will also help shift the conversation discussions for this species from specialist rhino events to a broad, global platform.

Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). Photo: Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI) - Dedi Candra“Serious concern over the plight of this species has been raised worldwide and leading experts agree that it is just a matter of time before the Sumatran Rhinoceros goes extinct if no new and concerted action is taken,” said Simon N. Stuart, Chair of the IUCN SSC. “We believe it is vital that governments of Indonesia and Malaysia are actively engaged in the SRCS discussions, conclusions and recommendations. A collaborative effort involving governments, NGOs and other relevant specialists is necessary to avert the extinction of this magnificent species.”

Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). Photo: Suzanne Chong LEAP

In addition to governmental and NGO representatives from Indonesia and Malaysia and individuals with experience in rhino protection, reproduction and veterinary care, representatives from zoos and other institutions with expertise in Sumatran rhinos as well as people from the Americas, Africa, Europe and Australia with experience in saving previously critically endangered species are attending the summit.

Groups that have played an active role since last year in planning the event in collaboration with IUCN SSC include Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA, Malaysia), Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP, Malaysia), Fauna and Flora International (FFI Indonesia), Rhino Foundation of Indonesia (YABI), Indonesian Zoo and Aquarium Association (PKBSI), International Rhino Foundation (IRF), Leuser International Foundation (LIF, Indonesia), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS Indonesia), Taman Safari Indonesia (TSI), WWF and SOS Rhino US.

The event is hosted by Wildlife Reserves Singapore at Jurong Bird Park, while Sime Darby Foundation, WWF, IUCN, IRF and TSI are providing funds and resources.

For further details on the Sumatran Rhino Crisis Summit, please contact Datuk Dr Junaidi Payne sabahpayne@gmail.com

 

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