Sumatran Rhinos Face Increased Threats in a Shrinking Home

Suzi Eszterhas

In a recent Mongabay article, the director of the Alliance of Forest Integrated Conservation (ALeRT) reported that the critically endangered Sumatran rhino is being increasingly threatened by forest fires and poaching in Indonesia's Way Kambas National Park. This 321,000 acre zone is one of the last strongholds of the rarest, smallest rhino species left on Earth.

Suzi Eszterhas

An estimated 12-33 wild Sumatran rhinos live in Way Kambas, with another seven housed within the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, also located in the park. The destruction of their swamp and lowland forest habitat, coupled with the constant threat of poaching, is making this stronghold for Sumatran rhinos more perilous. In 2019 alone, park management reported over 2,300 incidents of illegal fires, likely set by bushmeat poachers targeting deer and boars.

Rhino conservationists continue to work to prevent further loss of this rare rhino species and to boost its recovery. The RRF supports Indonesia's Sumatran rhinos by funding the work of the Leuser Conservation Forum in the Leuser Ecosystem.  

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