EDGE Community


Project information

[Project name/title]
Last chance for the Javan Rhinoceros in Vietnam: securing required steps to a recovery programme


[Project description/overview]
The aim of this project is to determine the population status (no. of individuals and sex) of the Javan Rhino in Vietnam. This information is critically needed to inform an appropriate management strategy and motivate the Vietnamese government to take effective action to conserve this subspecies.


Location:
Vietnam, Southern Annamite mountains

Project type:
Survey

Relevant EDGE species:
Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

Project members:
Sarah Brook
Simon Mahood




Relevant species
14. Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) CR

With fewer than 60 individuals remaining, this is the rarest of all the living rhinoceros species.

[Relevance description]
Aims
To determine the population status (no. of individuals and sex) of the Javan Rhino in Vietnam. This information is critically needed to inform an appropriate management strategy and motivate the Vietnamese government to take effective action to conserve this subspecies.
 
Background
The Javan Rhinoceros is Critically Endangered, with only two remaining global populations, representing distinct subspecies. 40-60 individuals (R. sondaicus sondaicus) inhabit Java and less than 10 individuals of R. sondaicus annamiticus survive in Cat Tien National Park (CTNP), Vietnam. Despite having conducted several surveys, there remains uncertainty of the exact number of rhinos or the sex structure of the group in Cat Tien National Park. The rhinos are under threat from many factors, including encroachment of habitat and land conversion to agriculture, infrastructure and hydropower development, disturbance and potentially poaching.

This project will conduct the first comprehensive survey of the habitat, using dung detection dogs to collect dung samples for DNA and hormonal analysis. The primers for Javan Rhino have recently been developed so an accurate population estimate is finally able to be obtained. We will also conduct capture-mark-recapture analysis on the basis of DNA profiles. The field survey will be conducted from November 2009-April 2010, covering all suitable habitat and targeting ‘hotspots’ for the species (wallows, streams and trails) a minimum of 4 times.

Following the population status results, a management strategy will be implemented and government endorsement sought, to try to save the last remaining rhinos from extinction.
 
Achievements
 
Project members
Ms Sarah Brook MSc: Project Manager

Sarah is carrying out a six month survey of Javan rhinos in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam.

[Member role description]

Simon is currently working to conserve the Javan rhinoceros in Vietnam.

[Member role description]
Project partners
Cat Tien National Park
Forest Protection Department
Queen’s University, Canada
Institute of Zoology, London
 
Donors
WWF Austria
WWF International
WWF US
Hermsen Foundation
US Fish and Wildlife Service
 
Links
 
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