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Rhinos clinging to survival in the heart of Borneo, despite poaching

been devastated because rhino horn carries a high price on the black market, where it is predominantly sold for use in traditional Asian medicines.

As poaching is such a threat to this species, the survey results were not released until strong protection measures could be put in place in the areas where the rhinos are found. Those security measures were recently installed. WWF and partners last month launched a five-year project called "Rhino Rescue," which will organize rhino protection units and other activities to deter poaching.

"The results from the survey of Borneo's rhinos are crucial additions to our scientific understanding of the species," said Dr. Christy Williams, of WWF's Asian rhino program. "We believe this population may be viable and could recover if their habitat is protected and the threat of poaching is eliminated."

Sabah and the forests of the "Heart of Borneo" still hold huge tracts of continuous natural forests, which are some of the most biologically diverse habitats on Earth, with high numbers of unique animal and plant species. This is one of the world's only two places ?the other being Indonesia's Sumatra island ?where orangutans, elephants and rhinos still co-exist and where forests are currently large enough to maintain viable populations.

WWF aims to assist Borneo's three nations (Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia) to conserve the "Heart of Borneo" ?a total of about 84,942 square miles of equatorial rain forest ?through a network of protected areas and sustainably managed forest, and through international cooperation led by the Bornean governments and supported by a global effort.


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Source:World Wildlife Fund


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