BANDA ACEH, Indonesia — For the rhinos of Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem, snare traps set by poachers are a key factor that threatens to drive them closer to extinction. The Leuser Ecosystem is one of the last refuges of the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). Fewer than 80 of the animals are believed to remain in the wild, isolated from one another in rapidly dwindling patches of rainforest in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island, with a handful thought to remain in Indonesian Borneo. Leuser is home to one of the largest numbers of the species, split up across four habitats, which makes the area the most promising site for Sumatran rhino conservation. But wire snares set by illegal hunters to catch anything ranging from wild boars for bushmeat to trophy animals — including the native elephants and tigers — continue to pose an imminent threat to the rhinos. “Elephants that are huge can be severely injured or even killed [by the traps], so imagine what will happen to the rhinos that are much smaller,” Rudi Putra, a biologist and chairman of the Leuser Conservation Forum’s (FKL) board of trustees, said in a recent webinar. Snare traps can be lethal to Indonesia’s nearly extinct animals, like the Sumatran rhino. Image by Junaidi Hanafiah/Mongabay Indonesia. Recent studies have shown that snaring by hunters is a much more potent danger to the survival of Southeast Asia’s threatened wildlife compared to deforestation and forest degradation. Snares are typically made of steel or nylon wire and are…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer