One of the last remaining homes of the Sumatran rhino is in Way Kambas National Park. The Park, approximately 125,000 hectares on the south-east coast of Sumatra, has the ocean on one side and human settlements along the other three. Way Kambas features a range of habitats, from swamp and lowland forest to mangroves and dry beaches, making it a hotspot for a range of wildlife species.
Yet, as the only protected area in Indonesia without a dedicated buffer zone, Way Kambas is under threat. Historically, as the number of people living around the Park increased, the boundaries of Way Kambas became blurred with the edges of community areas; nearly one-third of the Park’s precious forest was lost to human encroachment and illegal farming. More recently, collaboration between community members and Park authorities has reduced encroachment and many people living on the Park’s borders have become stewards and champions of their local environment. Community members now play an important role in restoring vital and degraded habitats.
Our appeal, Room to Rhino, is supporting these projects, providing funding to ensure people have the resources needed to reforest three important sites within Way Kambas National Park. Of course, Way Kambas is a precious rhino habitat, and so reforestation efforts will benefit rhinos by providing both a food source of native plants and a resilient, healthy home for future populations. However, beyond rhinos, this work is making a difference for many other residents of Way Kambas.
Some of the sites have already been visited by other threatened or even critically endangered wildlife species. Sambar deer and Malay tapirs have been spotted in the restoration areas, as well as Asian elephants and the tracks of Sumatran tigers. These species, like Sumatran rhinos, are all under pressure from human development and a lack of habitat. Their return to the reforested sites shows the importance of improving degraded land areas, which, once mature, have the potential to be biodiversity hotspots once again.
Whilst supporting Sumatran rhino conservation is fundamental for us at Save the Rhino, it’s clear that the impact of Way Kambas reforestation goes much further – for people and wildlife.
So far, thanks to your generosity, more than £36,000 has been raised for the Room to Rhino appeal. This is an amazing total. Yet, with more funding, we can achieve so much more; supporting more people, restoring more land, and protecting more of the Way Kambas forest. If you can, join us in helping to provide more room for rhinos, elephants, tigers, and countless other species. Donate now.