The Rarest Rhino Announces Launch of Crowdfunding Campaign

Kickstarter campaign will fund awareness-raising photographs of rare, nearly extinct species


Christchurch, New Zealand -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/14/2014 -- The Javan Rhino (of which there are 35 in the world) is a critically endangered species of rhinoceros that finds its home in the deep jungle habitat of the Ujung Kulon National Park, in Indonesia. As the elusive animals roam and hide in the area between the islands of Java and Southern Sumatra, a dedicated veterinarian turned wildlife photographer aims to capture the species in high-resolution photographs.

Steve Belcher has spent 15 years as a globetrotting wildlife photographer, capturing images of various animal species in places ranging from Antarctica, the dramatic landscapes of New Zealand, the varied climate and topography of Tanzania and the ample and multifaceted landmass of China. His work has been featured in exhibits and publications around the world. For example, his photo titled “Leopard Stalking” taken in Namibia, won 1st Place in the 2013 Melvita Nature Images Awards Mammal Category, as well as the Nature Picture Library Prize for Best Single Image of the year in 2013. This image is currently on display in Paris France and has been displayed at The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., the most visited natural history museum in the world.

With firsthand experience as a Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine, Steve Belcher pursued his passion for animals by providing them with compassionate medical care and assistance with crisis situations. He then re-purposed his life by moving into wildlife photography, and embarked on a journey to capture stunning images of many creatures; both great and small. He has been on all seven of the world's great continents doing his top-tier photographic work.

He intends to spend 3 months in the swampy jungle of Ujung Kulon National Park, a diminutive peninsula with no trails and at the close proximity of an active volcano that goes by the name, Krakatoa. He will do his photographic work in this environment because this is the only place on earth where the Javan Rhino roams. He will use basic maps, which is all that's available in this area. There are no charted maps detailing the landscape.

As he shares this habitat with the Javan Rhino and keeps an eye on the currently active volcano, he intends to capture new high-resolution still images and videos of this rare animal. The handful of existing photographs are of very low quality. Some of this is attributable to the fact that this animal is elusive and lives in a secluded habitat, and another reason is the reality that only a mere 35 are still alive.

The Red Book is a list of species that have become extinct. Every year, the list of animals in the Red Book gets longer and longer.

In support of its Crowdfunding campaign, Belcher is committed to:

- Providing top-shelf, high resolution photos of the Javan Rhino in the wild

- Holding photo exhibits of his pictures in order to raise awareness of the endangered species, which could conceivably become extinct

- Providing print rich limited edition prints of photos of the Javan Rhino for Kickstarter funders

- Providing a Director's Cut behind-the-scenes video edition of his expedition, so that Kickstarter funders can virtually share his experience

- Providing Images for Rhino Conservation

The Kickstarter campaign’s initial goal of NZ$55,000 (US$48,000, UK£28,000) is currently active and runs till June 5, 2014 at 6:53 PM CEST Time. Full details about the Kickstarter campaign including sponsorship, data detailing why the Javan Rhino is endangered and what could accelerate that process, along with the involvement levels can be found at:

Media Contact:
[Stephen Belcher]
[+49 611 956 6539]