Rhino cameras will help watch endangered giants

The Javan rhino is incredibly rare and endangered — and now we hope they'll get safeguarded better than ever, following a quadrupling of cameras used to monitor the critically endangered giants.

The World Wildlife Fund and the International Rhino Foundation recently donated 120 cameras to Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia. This brings the total number of cameras there to 160.

Scientists believe there are fewer than 50 Javan rhinos (Rhinoceros sondaicus) remaining. The park remains "the last fortress of the Javan rhino population in the world," International Rhino Foundation director Susie Ellis said in a statement.

Rhino cameras will help watch endangered giantsS

Javan rhinos, like all rhino species, have been hunted mercilessly for their horns in the entirely mistaken belief that they have medicinal value. Indonesia hopes to increase the populations of the Javan rhino and 13 other endangered species by three percent by 2014.

[Via John R. Platt at Scientific American Blogs.]

Images via International Rhino Foundation, World Wildlife Fund.