Jakarta. Indonesia spotted two new endangered Javan rhino calves in Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java and managed to hatch a Javan hawk-eagle chick in a conservation center at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah Jakarta, giving a boost to the country's conservation efforts.
The Environment and Forestry Ministry listed Javan eagle and Javan rhinoceros among 25 species with top priority for conservation in Indonesia.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the Javan rhinoceros as critically endangered — the most severe conservation status — and the Javan hawk-eagle as endangered.
Wiratno, the director-general of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said the birth of the Javan rhino in Ujung Kulon National Park and the Javan eagle in TMII shows the government's serious efforts in preserving Indonesia's endemic animals.
"We must together support the conservation of Indonesian animals," Wiratno said in a statement on Saturday.
The Environment and Forestry Ministry said in the statement that camera traps had spotted a male and a female Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) calves in Ujung Kulon since March.
The ministry said the female Javan rhino was born to a rhino called Ambu, which also gave birth to another calf in 2017. The male Javan rhinoceros calf, on the other hand, was born to a mother called Palasari and was estimated to be one year old, the ministry said.
The ministry said the births showed the "success of policies to protect Javan rhino habitat in the national park area."
There were 73 Javan rhinos in Ujung Kulon National Park, consisting of 40 male Javan rhinos and 33 female Javan rhinos today, the ministry said. Ujung Kulon is the last remaining wild habitat for the extremely rare species, providing more than 5,100 hectares of protected rainforest for the rhinos.
Javan rhinos are distinct to their African cousins, having only one horn and smaller in size, on average. The species is used to roam free throughout Southeast Asia, but poaching for the horn — highly prized in traditional Chinese medicine — and land encroaching have driven it into near extinction.
Meanwhile, the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah's (TMII) Bird Park Conservation Institute succeeded in incubating a Javan hawk-eagle (Nisaetus bartelsi) egg on May 29, marking the institute's first successful attempt to breed the endangered species in captivity.
A Javan hawk-eagle from the TMII collection started laying eggs in 2014, prompting the institute's effort to hatch the eggs through a natural incubation process by the mother, but to no avail.
The institute then decided to use an incubator machine. After the 23-day incubation process from May 6 to 29, a Javan hawk-eagle chick weighing 53 grams hatched. The institute reported the 14-day old Javan eagle chick was in good health on Friday.