CONSERVATION SPEAKER SERIES

Conservation Speaker Series: Sumatran Rhinos
June 19  //  6-8 pm

Susie Ellis, Executive Director
International Rhino Foundation

Members - $30
Non Members - $35
Children - $10
Your ticket includes dinner, 1 drink, and the presentation.
 
Email Lucas Meers at meersl@jacksonvillezoo.org with questions.

The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) is world-renowned for their work protecting rhinos throughout Africa and Asia. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is bringing in Susie Ellis to speak on their work protecting rhinos around the world, Sumatran . The Zoo supports a Wildlife Protection Unit that protects Sumatran rhinos, tigers and other wildlife in BBS National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia.

No more than 80 Sumatran rhinos survive in very small and highly fragmented populations in Indonesia. The largest populations of wild rhinos are found in Bukit Barisan Selatan, Gunung Leuser, and Way Kambas National Parks in Sumatra, Indonesia; there is also a small population in Kalimantan, Borneo. The species was recently declared extinct in the wild in Malaysia. The main cause of the initial decline of Sumatran rhinos was poaching for horn, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Now, the populations are also limited by living in fragmented habitats which prevent their ability to get together to breed; rhino habitat is also continuously encroached by human populations.

With our on-the-ground partner, the Rhino Foundation of Indonesia (Yayasan Badak Indonesia or YABI), IRF operates a multi-faceted Sumatran Rhino Conservation Program that includes protection of Sumatran rhinos and their habitat through our Rhino Protection Units, research on and propagation of the species at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary.

In 1996, IRF built the 250-acre Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in partnership with local NGO Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI). Located in the heart of Way Kambas National Park on the island of Sumatra, the SRS is home to the only reproductively viable captive Sumatran rhinos in the world. The facility’s seven resident rhinos – adult males Andalas and Harapan (brothers born at the Cincinnati Zoo and moved to the SRS as sub-adults), male Andatu (born at the facility in 2012), and females Rosa, Bina, Ratu and her female calf Delilah (also born at the facility May 12th, 2016), reside in large, natural rainforest habitats and receive state-of-the-art veterinary care and nutrition. This tiny population is the core of an intensively managed breeding and research program that is intended to promote the species’ population growth while also generating a genetically diverse “founder” group that could be used as a source for animals to repopulate the National Parks. The goal of this program is to increase our knowledge about the ecology and behavior of the species while also supporting the population in the wild.