To share its experience with the great one-horned pachyderm

Aaranyak, a wildlife research and bio-diversity conservation organisation based in the city will assist Indonesian authorities to undertake non-invasive genetics research on two critically endangered species — the Javan and the Sumatran rhinos — in Indonesia.

The Aaranyak under its Wildlife Genetics Programme will work with an Indonesian counterpart to initiate non-invasive DNA-based research to estimate the population size, male-female-calf ratio, rhino density and also study the issue of genetic bottleneck and inbreeding of the rhinos.

The global population of the Javan rhino is less than 50 and found only in Ujung Kulon National Park (NP) cum World Heritage Site in West Java.

Indonesia harbours about 60-70 per cent of total global population of the Sumatran rhino, whose population in the world is between 200-250.

Head of Wildlife Genetics Programme at Aaranyak, Udayan Borthakur, recently visited Indonesia to prepare the line of action needed to undertake the research and interacted with park officials, officials at Yayasan Badak and Eijkman Institute, stated Aaranyak publicity secretary Dhrubajyoti Kalita in a release.

The Guwahati-based organisation decided to lend its technical support after discussion with the International Rhino Foundation (IRF). The IRF has been assisting conservation and protection in Indonesia through its partner Yayasan Badak and in association with the Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia, Mr. Kalita added.

The lab-based work will be performed at the Eijkman Institute in Jakarta with technical assistance from Aaranyak, which will assist it to prepare the needed markers for DNA-based studies from dung and hair samples.

Mr. Borthakur claimed that the Wildlife Genetics Programme successfully prepared and tested the markers for the great one horned rhino to undertake non-invasive research.

The IRF has been actively assisting conservation and protection of the Javan rhino at the Ujung Kulon National Park and the Sumatran species at the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park and Way Kambas National Park of Indonesia by supporting the rhino protection units.