Recently, Dedy Yansyah, Wildlife Protection Coordinator for the Leuser Conservation Forum (FKL), received a 2022 Whitley Award for his outstanding work protecting the Critically Endangered Sumatran rhino. FKL, an RRF grantee, has been working to not only safeguard this rare rhino, but help its few remaining populations throughout the Leuser Ecosystem slowly recover.
In the last 20 years, Sumatran rhino populations have declined by 70% due to poaching and habitat loss. Less than 80 Sumatran rhinos still exist, and with so few of them left, breeding can be difficult and often unsuccessful. FKL works tirelessly with Indonesian government authorities to ensure these remaining rhinos have a chance to thrive. This includes translocating rhinos to take part in their captive breeding program, giving the rhinos their best chance at successfully reproducing.
Dedy regularly leads patrols with his team to make sure the rhinos are safe from poachers and that their habitat is not disturbed by illegal logging operations. He also helps gather data and create a distribution map based on his patrols, so that FKL can carefully plan the next stage of conservation efforts to give Sumatran rhinos a better chance at survival.
With the money from his Whitley Award, Dedy will create an additional anti-poaching patrol team to keep habitats safe for Sumatran rhinos. He'll also form a new monitoring and survey team to help gather additional rhino data. FKL also plans to construct a new sanctuary for the rhinos in the Leuser Ecosystem.
The RRF will continue to support amazing conservationists like Dedy Yansyah and the Leuser Conservation Forum because their remarkable dedication is giving rhinos their best chance at recovery.