Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Massachusetts
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Massachusetts Project

Population Size and Distribution of Sumatran Rhinoceros

September 2012 - September 2014


Participating Agencies

  • Fulbright

Sumatran rhinoceros were once distributed from the Himalayas to Sumatra, Indonesia, but currently have been extirpated from most their historical range. The world population of Sumatran rhinoceros is estimated to have decreased from 600 animals in 1985 to less than 300 in 1995 with the current population believed to be around 200 individuals. On the island of Sumatra, the location with the largest number of Sumatra rhinos in the wild, animals are distributed among 3 discrete populations, but to date, no systematic surveys have been conducted to estimate the population size of rhinos at these locations. We will assess the distribution of Sumatran rhinoceros on Sumatra using the data from an island-wide large mammal patch occupancy survey along with a Sumatran rhino survey conducted in Gunung Leuser National Park. We will estimate the change in occupancy, and the local extinction and colonization rates, with the overall goal of guiding the the conservation of Sumatran Rhinos in the wild.