Different to other wildlife, Javan rhino has its own challenge for the people to acknowledge its diseases due to its solitary living and contained in a dense tropical rainforest in UKNP. The treatment to collect the health status of the Javan rhino is quite hard to be conducted because it requires much collaboration from various stake holders and large efforts. This is quite concerning because in the last 50 years, aside from it quite constant population number, the rhino death incidents without any definitive cause of death clearly becomes responsibility to those who work in Javan rhino conservation. At least since the last 6 years, UKNP started to open the collaboration with other organization and affiliated institution in the necropsy of the Javan rhino deaths. However, this is still not enough to gather the information of the Javan rhino health status with the potential disease that followed it.
Since long time a go of the Javan rhino research development, we have always been focused on the non invasive techniques. This is believed by many experts as the safest methods to treat the wildlife with the small population. The non invasive technique is the data or sample collecting technique without taking directly from the rhino to reduce the stress and pain level of the rhino. The sample that most commonly collected using this method is the fecal sample. Back then, this sample is collected to see the hormone level of the Javan rhino and it is developed until now where the sample is used to see the kinship within the Javan rhino population. Aside that Javan rhino has been exist in UKNP way before it is stated as national park in the 1980s, there is still less information that we gather around the Javan rhino regarding the behavior and the most common mystery – potential disease that may infected the Javan rhino. The molecular examination is a discipline that in the last several years have been in the spotlight due to its capability to detect and the information that can be transpired from the nucleus level.
Until now, inbreeding depression becomes the condition that is not yet scientifically that may occur in the Javan rhino. However, in the single population such as Javan rhino, inbreeding depression is the most concerned condition besides the potential disease of the Javan rhino. Inbreeding depression is a condition that suppresses the wildlife population security due to the inbred offspring. This can reduce the genetic diversity within the Javan rhino individuals that can lead to the decrease if the immunity system. This will made the individuals’ capability to survive to be more susceptible. The individual DNA profile is one of the methods that can be used to see the individual kinship within the Javan rhino population and ultimately can answer the occurrence of the inbreeding depression in the Javan rhino population.
In addition, the molecular technique also can be use as a tool to detect the disease using the available samples that matched with the disease’s agent DNA mark. Just like other techniques, the molecular examination will give better and valid result when using the blood samples of the rhino that unfortunately can only be happened using the invasive technique. However, one of the superiority of the molecular technique lies in its capability to detect the disease from the vector of the disease in UKNP, such as surra. Surra is a disease caused by protozoa Trypanosoma evansi that proved to be the cause of death of the Sumatran rhino 10 years ago. This disease has no specific clinical findings and the treatment is usually on to promote the immune system due to the agent’s capability that easily mutated. This disease is distributed by the blood-sucking fly, Tabanidae. Several spots in the buffer villages that bordered directly to UKNP have high population of water buffaloes. Unfortunately the management of this livestock by the farmers is still traditional where they free-ranging their water buffaloes inside the UNKO that indirectly give the potential of cross infection of the disease. Let alone in the 2017 surveillance data of the water buffalo population showed quite high titer of surra antibody in the buffer village of UKNP. The molecular testing using the surra agent through the fly as the vector can slowly help and unravel the mystery of the disease within the UKNP.