July 1, 2009

Borneo Rhino Habitat In Danger

Conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said on Wednesday that the future of the Borneo rhino, one of the world's most endangered animals, depends on action taken to protect the forest reserves where it lives.

According to Malaysian wildlife officials, only 30 Borneo rhino remain in the wilderness of Sabah state, an island that the country shares with Indonesia.

"The future of rhinos in Borneo now depends on how seriously the forest reserves can be managed sustainably," Raymond Alfred, senior manager of WWF-Malaysia's Borneo Species Program said in a statement.

Alfred and his team captured a rare image and video of the rhino, which is a female believed to be about 20 years old.

The WWF said that the image, along with the identification of two rhino calves, makes it prove to be more crucial to manage the species' forest home sustainability.

Alfred pleaded with the forestry and wildlife authorities in Sabah, along with the police, to adopt "strong and coordinated enforcement to ensure the survival" of the rhinos.

The expansion of oil palm plantations is affecting the rhinos' range, so the WFF called for action to protect its habitat from fragmentation.

The Borneo rhino is the most rare of all rhinos and is distinguished from other Sumatran rhinos by its relatively small size, small teeth and distinctively shaped head.

WWF is a 45 year old organization that seeks to protect the future of nature, according to the organization's website.  The group works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the U.S. and close to 5 million globally.


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