The Sumatran rhinoceros has been declining in numbers for more than a century, primarily due to bunting and to loss of its habitat as land is converted to other uses. Only in the last quarter century has the international community made concerted efforts to reverse this decline. However, government officials, international funding agencies, and conservation organizations, while paying lip service to the need for strong action, have often taken the path of least resistance in helping this species. Much of the money and effort put toward Sumatran rhino conservation has focused on new technologies or politically expedient strategies that have little to do with the real reasons behind the rhino’s decline. The primary means of Sumatran rhino conservation in Indonesia and Malaysia, where viable populations might still exist, is still the capture and attempted breeding of this species‐which, until now, has failed. I examined the history of the Sumatran rhino in Borneo and the recent situation in Sabah, where at least two important populations of this species might still survive. Sabah is presented as a case study that is indicative of the plight of the Sumatran rhino throughout its present range.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1995
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