Monday, March 2, 2009

Endangered Rhinos pt. 1 - Sumatran

Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Of the 5 species of living Rhino, the Sumatran is smallest (standing at up to just under 5 ft at the shoulder). The Sumatran is one of the so called Armoured or Plated rhinos, called so because of the overlapping "plates" of thick skin that resemble armor... along with the Javan and Indian Rhinos. This species is now critically endangered, having been hunted intensively for their horns (which have use in Chinese medicine). Although they once ranged widely through SE Asia, they are now only found in isolated populations in forests on Java, Borneo and the peninsula of Malaysia.

Unlike the Indian and African species, this rhino may be fairly hairy. Like all other rhino species, they have poor eyesight, and rely more on their excellent senses of smell and hearing.

This animal is now considered Critically Endangered, and only about 300 are known to remain in the wild.

Like African species, the Sumatran has 2 nose horns, unlike its Asian compatriots, the Indian and Javan Rhinos.

Sumatran Rhinos are fairly solitary animals which browse on variety of plants materials, like green leaves and fruit.

A mother and calf cool off in a refreshing mud pond. Mud wallowing also helps to smother and remove skin parasites. Although they can seem sluggish in the heat of the day, wallowing in shallow water and mud holes, These small rhinos can be quite agile and active. They can cover large areas in a day, climb slopes well, and can gallop fairly swiftly.

Someone can be a little standoffish when they got they baby around. PILAS ESE! Females usually only bare one calf, and are VERY protective.

The Sumatran is the most vocal of the rhinos, making 3 distinct kinds of calls. This one may be vocalizing that y'all bout ta get y'all wig split!

(despite the jokes and the reputations of other species, this species is not particularly aggressive, but should still be given some space)

A worker at a Sumatran zoo feeds an adult. Breeding programs at zoos, where the animals can be protected from poachers, may be an important part of saving the species.

A worker at the Cincinnati Zoo feeds a young baby rhino, who is curious about the camera.

"Borneo Rhinocerus"

The subspecies (or race) of Sumatran Rhino that lives on the Island of Borneo is referred to as the Bornean or Borneo Rhinoceros, and is now rarely seen.

There are only 25 individuals left in the wild, as far as scientists know.

The Bornean is the smallest of the 2 living Sumatran subspecies the other (the Northern Sumatran, which lived in India and Bangladesh, is now extinct)

Night time, motion activated cameras are a useful tool for studying rare animals, that live in dense forest. They are most active in the early morning and just before sunset.

(crepuscular - animals that are active in twilight periods, dawn and dusk)

The only know survivors live in the Southern province of Borneo, known as Sabah, which is part of Malaysia

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