Australia supports Sumatran Rhinoceros conservation

Media release

13 August 2013

Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced on 28 June 2013 in Jakarta that Australia will provide $3 million over the next three years to help save the Sumatran Rhinoceros from extinction.

Senator Carr said the support over 2013-2016 will provide a much needed funding boost to existing projects that are already demonstrating results in protecting the Sumatran Rhino - the smallest of all rhinos and reportedly the most endangered rhino species.

"Australia is proud to be supporting environmental sustainability in Indonesia to help preserve this special species.

"Funding will be directed to projects that help to protect the rhino and its habitat and to provide work and skills for local people.

"Illegal logging and poaching is pushing the Sumatran Rhino towards extinction.

"While surviving in greater numbers than the Javan rhino, Sumatran rhinos are more threatened by poaching and there is no indication that the population is stabilising.

"Overall, Sumatran rhino numbers have more than halved between 1985 and 1995, with the total number now estimated at under 200.

"Tragically, most of these rhino populations are very small and may not be sustainable.

"The largest and possibly most viable populations are found in Sumatra, which is why we are targeting our efforts here," Senator Carr said.

Over the next three years the Australian Government will provide funds to the World Wildlife Fund which will in turn direct support to projects that will achieve the best results.

Funding will be directed to projects that:

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