Camera Traps Capture Two Javan Rhino Mothers With Their Calves (Video)

rare javan rhino camera trap photo

Photo credit: (c)WWF/Ujung Kulon National Park
Camera trap photos and videos are often grainy, out of focus, and at awkward angles but occasionally, the traps produce incredible images—and provide conservationists with essential information about the world's most endangered species.

The later is very much the case with a recent set of camera-trap photos captured in Ujung Kulon National Park, Indonesia, showing a pair of critically endangered Javan rhinos and other rare species.

The Javan rhino is thought to be the rarest mammal—if not animal—on the planet. Fewer than 40 are thought to live in a geographically confined habitat in the wild. None survive in captivity.

javan rhino baby camera trap photo

Photo credit: (c)WWF/Ujung Kulon National Park

The small, localized, population is extremely vulnerable to a variety of threats including poaching, disease, and natural disaster like the eruption of the nearby Anak Krakatau volcano.

Because no Javan rhinos exist in captivity, a loss of the wild population means a total loss of the species.

The new camera trap will help researchers monitor the small population and could help identify individuals suitable for relocation—an essential step to rebuilding the number and range of the rhinos.

camera trap javan rhino close up photo

Photo credit: (c)WWF/Ujung Kulon National Park

"The recovery of the White rhino in South Africa is the most successful example of international wildlife conservation for a highly endangered species," Dr. Eric Dinerstein, chief scientist at WWF, explained, "With less than 50 left in a single reserve in 1900, there are currently around 20,000 alive in nine countries. Examples like this give us hope that in 10 or 20 years through translocation and proper protection we can begin to witness a Javan rhino rebound."

Camera trap photos and videos are the first step in this process.

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Read more about Javan rhinos:
Ultra-Rare, Perhaps the Last Remaining, Javan Rhino Found Killed in Vietnam
Pregnant Rhino Gives Hope to the Species
Population of World's Most Endangered Mammal Shrinks By Three

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