Published: Thursday 15 November 2001

The Javan rhinoceros, one of the world's most endangered large mammals, is showing signs of recovery. Conservationists have recently found evidence that four calves were born over the last two years in Indonesia's Ujung Kulon national park. An 18-month-long survey by World Wide Fund for Nature (wwf) and the park authorities revealed that four calves were born in Ujung Kulon since April 1999. With the support of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, wwf Indonesia and the park managers began a camera-trapping survey in January 2000, and obtained images of one mother rhino and two calves. The survey results have been checked by comparing them with dna analysis of rhino droppings. The latest calves are the first births recorded in the park in four years. The rhino population of Ujung Kulon had fallen to between 25-30 animals in the 1930s.

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