Rhino fight to death

Rhino fight to death DEFAULT

World&#;s oldest white rhino dies in Italian zoo aged 54

Rome (AFP)

Toby, the world's oldest white rhino, has died at the age of 54 in a zoo in northern Italy, a spokeswoman for the establishment said Tuesday.

"Nonno Toby" (Grandpa Toby) passed away on October 6, Elisa Livia Pennacchioni of the Parco Natura Viva, a zoo near the northern city of Verona, told AFP.

"He collapsed on the floor on the way back to his nighttime shelter, and after about half an hour, his heart stopped," she said.

Toby will be embalmed and put on display at the MuSe science museum in Trento, where he will join Blanco, a white lion from the zoo who died five years ago, Pennacchioni said.

White rhinos normally live up to 40 years when held in captivity, and up to 30 years in the wild, she said.

Toby's death, which follows the passing of his female partner Sugar in , leaves the Parco Natura Viva with one remaining white rhino: Benno, aged

However, there are only two examples left of the northern white rhino subspecies who live in Kenya, which are watched round-the-clock by armed guards, the environmental group says.


Sours: https://www.francecom/en/live-news/world-s-oldest-white-rhino-dies-in-italian-zoo-aged

Geographic Range

Historically, northwestern Uganda, southern Chad, south-western Sudan, the eastern part of center African Republic, and northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo were the native places for northern white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum cottoni). Southern white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum simum) were native to all of southern Africa. However, the current range of these subspecies is much more restricted. Presently, northern white rhinoceroses only inhabit the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Whereas, the southern white rhinoceroses inhabit Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Zambia. Furthermore, African governments have been preserving populations of rhinoceroses in protected areas, such as Kruger National Park of South Africa, Mlilwane Game Sanctuary of Swaziland, Murchison Falls National Park of Uganda, and Meru National Park of Kenya. ("African rhino. Status survey and conservation action plan", ; Estes, ; Groves, ; Nowak, ; Skinner and Chimimba, )


Typical habitat for white rhinocerose includes dense forests, savannas, and woodlands with grassy openings. White rhinoceroses usually live near water sources because they generally consume water as often as twice a day. In addition, white rhinoceroses are more commonly found near riverbanks and bottomland areas during morning hours. As temperature increases, they move to shadier areas such as dense forest or mid-slopes of hills. (Estes, ; Groves, ; Nowak, )

Physical Description

White rhinoceroses are one of the largest terrestrial mammals. They weigh approximately to kg as adults. White rhinoceroses have relatively small eyes compared to their body size, squared-shaped lips, and a long neck with a hump. They have two horns of unequal size. The recorded length of longer horns is mm in length. These are longer and thinner in females. The shorter horns can grow up to mm in length.

The average length of their head and body, not including tail, is to m. The average length of tail of white rhinoceroses ranges from to m. In addition, white rhinoceros average shoulder height is to m, whereas their average girth is between and m. These animals have 24 teeth, with a dental formula of: incisors 0/0, canines 0/0, premolars 3/3, and molars 3/3.

White rhinoceroses have pale gray skin which is dense, tough, and has plate-like folds. The epidermis of white rhinoceroses is 1 mm thick and their dermis is 18 mm thick, on average. White rhinoceroses have hypsodont teeth. Moreover, they have flat broad mouth for grazing. White rhinos are so called not because they are "white," but because their face is "wide" (a missed translation).

At birth, the average weight of juveniles is 40 to 60 kg, and the head and body length is to m. The horns of juveniles can only be seen six weeks after birth, when black membranes covering the horns fall off. Body hairs are visible three months after of birth in white rhinoceroses.

Northern white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) are relatively smaller in weight and body length than southern white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum simum). In both subspecies, female white rhinoceroses are slightly smaller than males. However, there is no quantitative data published on the sizes of males and females and northern and southern to compare here. A feature that distinguishes these two subspecies from each other is their body hairs, as the southern subspecies has fewer body hairs than their northern counterparts. (Estes, ; Groves, ; Nowak, ; Pienaar, a)


The mating system in white rhinoceroses is polygynandrous, meaning both males and females have multiple sexual partners. Male white rhinoceroses are vigilant for females who enter into their territory. Once the female enters the territory, the male remains with the female for a day to investigate whether the female is ready to mate. If the female is ready, then the male usually follows her for 3 to 5 more days, during which time the females responds with snorts and roars. Before mating, pair bonds last for 5 to 20 days; in this period if females attempt to enter another male’s territory, males block the way, and sometimes confrontation occurs between males and females. However, if females successfully enter into another male's territory, then the previous male will discontinue his effort to follow the femal.

Males detect whether females are ready to mate by the smell of urine; urine includes chemicals that signals females in estrus. Females usually experience their first estrus at the age of three and half years, but they don’t breed until age 5. Almost all females breed after 5 years of age. Some of the signs of mating behaviors sent by female rhinoceroses are frequent urination and whistling sounds. Among males of the same population, fecal testosterone levels in territorial males are higher than the non-territorial males. Furthermore, territorial males usually spend more time with females and generally have more mating partners than non-territorial males. Thus, territorial males have higher reproductive success than non-territorial males.

While mating, male white rhinoceroses place both of their feet on the back of the female. Copulation lasts for 15 to 30 minutes on average, with ejaculations every 4 to 5 minutes. Mating behavior continues for 2 to 5 days as testosterone levels of male are high for 2 to 5 days. After that, the female leaves the male’s territory. (Estes, ; Groves, ; Nowak, ; Pienaar, a; Rachlow, et al., )

White rhinoceroses breed throughout the year, but breeding usually peaks between October to December in southern African populations and February to June in eastern African populations. White rhinoceroses give birth to one offspring at a time, which weighs, on average, kilograms at birth, and doubles its size by 6 months. Females reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 to 5 years, whereas males reach sexual maturity at the age of 5 to 7 years. Female white rhinoceroses can reproduce from age 5 up to the age of 46 years. The breeding interval in white rhinoceroses is long, to 3 years. This long breeding interval is tied to a long gestational period of to days. Calves usually start weaning at one year, and leave their mothers once they reach 2 to years of age. (Estes, ; Groves, ; Nowak, ; Pienaar, a; Rachlow, et al., )

White rhinoceros calves start suckling mother’s milk only hours after birth, and they usually suckle for 2 to 3 minutes at a time. Mothers are the sole caregivers of the young and males have no parental investment on calves beyond the mating process. White rhinoceroses start grazing at 2 months, but they are dependent on their mothers for nutrition until 6 months after birth. Beyond age 6 months, mother still nurse the child and protect them from predators and external threats, such as wildfire. Furthermore, calves usually move in front of their mother in the early stage of their life, and they respond immediately when their mothers change direction. Calves usually follow their mothers continuously for 2 months. White rhinoceros stay with their mother for to 3 years. At that time, the mothers drive their calves out of their territories and become sexually receptive again. (Estes, ; Groves, ; Nowak, ; Pienaar, a; Rachlow, et al., )

  • female parental care
  • pre-fertilization
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • provisioning
    • protecting
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
    • protecting
  • pre-independence
    • provisioning
    • protecting


The lifespan of white rhinoceroses differs between captivity and in the wild. The average lifespan of both males and females in the wild is 46 to 50 years. The recorded longest lifespan of northern white rhinoceroses in captivity is 30 years and 3 months. Similarly, the maximum recorded lifespan of the southern subspecies of white rhinoceroses in captivity is 30 years. The expected lifespan of white rhinoceroses in the wild is between 39 to 43 years and 27 to 30 years in captivity, on average. However, most rhinoceroses die unnaturally due to human poaching. Other causes of white rhinoceros death include drowning, getting stuck in mud, falling off cliffs, and burning in runaway wildfires. (Groves, ; Carey and Judge, ; Estes, ; Groves, ; Nowak, ; Rachlow, ; Weigl and Jones, )


A common behavior of white rhinoceroses is the way they respond to predators, such as lion (Panthera leo) attacks. For example, all white rhinoceroses run with their hind feet continuously striking the ground and their forefeet following the direction of the way other rhinos are running, during the flight. White rhinoceroses can run at speeds of 24 km/hr, and can reach up to 40 km/hr for short periods of time. White rhinoceroses are generally non-aggressive animals. However, females with young calves are more aggressive than the males and other females because they are protective towards their calves. Other common behaviors include the use of mud baths during summer and sand bath during winter. White rhinoceroses rarely take water baths. White rhinoceroses are both diurnal and crepuscular and this differs across seasons. During winter, they are diurnal, meaning their peak hours of activities time occur during daytime. On the other hand, white rhinoceroses are crepuscular during summer seasons, with peak hours of activities are between 5 AM to 9 AM and 3 PM to PM. This shift is a way to avoid hotter weather in the summer. White rhinoceroses do not migrate from one place to another during different seasons. Males rhinoceroses sometimes fight for the territory. Defeated males often move to some other territory. Furthermore, males urinate to determine the boundaries and they leave the territory only when going to get water. White rhinoceroses rarely share the territory with the other rhinoceroses. (Estes, ; Groves, ; Rachlow, et al., )

Home Range

Dominant white rhinoceroses have their own non-overlapping territories. Home ranges of male rhinoceroses are typically between to square kilometers, while females occupy 6 to 8 square kilometers The white rhinoceroses have dominance hierarchy, where stronger rhinoceroses claim more territorial space. Male white rhinoceroses actively defend a territory of about to 3 square kilometers, on average. Female territories are slightly smaller, on average, to square kilometers. These rhinoceroses tend to have greater home ranges during dry seasons because they wander more for food in dry seasons than wet seasons. (Estes, ; Groves, ; Nowak, ; Pienaar, a; Pienaar, b)

Communication and Perception

White rhinoceroses communicate using several different noises. Typically, male white rhinoceroses are louder than females. In addition, during fights with other bulls, males make grunts and snorts. Females utter a loud bass bellow while fighting with other females or in confrontation with males. Panting, whining, and squeaking are the sounds made by calves if they do not see their mother. White rhinoceroses often make gruff squeaking sounds when chasing or being chased, and their defensive sound is snarling. Male rhinoceroses make hic-throbbing sounds when approaching females.

White rhinoceroses are nearsighted, but they have heightened senses of hearing and smell. Therefore, olfactory communications play an major role in securing their territories. In white rhinoceros populations, dominant males spray their urine to mark the boundaries of their territories. Furthermore, white rhinoceroses have communal dung heaps, which makes it easier for rhinoceroses to identify each other in an area. Communal dung heaps also play a role in mating, because males can determine if a female is prepared to mate based on the smell of the dung. (Estes, ; Groves, ; Nowak, ; Skinner and Chimimba, )

Food Habits

White rhinoceroses are strictly herbivores. Their general diets include thick bush covers and short grasses. Some of the species of grasses they consume are panic grass (Panicum), signal grass (Urochloa), and finger grass (Digitaria), which are commonly found in shady areas of grasslands. Their squared-shaped lips allow them to consume vast amounts of grasses, which is why they are often cited as the largest pure grazer in the world. White rhinoceroses also eat fruits, as well as the leaves, stems, seeds, nuts, and flowers of the trees. White rhinoceros newborn calves drink only mother’s milk for two to three week after birth. After two weeks, mothers teach their newborns to eat soft and juicy grasses and other vegetation. White rhinoceroses drink their mother’ milk up to 18 months post-natally, start eating regular diets, like their mothers, after four to five months. (Estes, ; Groves, ; Nowak, ; Skinner and Chimimba, )

  • leaves
  • wood, bark, or stems
  • seeds, grains, and nuts
  • fruit
  • pollen
  • flowers
  • sap or other plant fluids


White rhinoceroses don’t have many natural predators. Some rhinoceroses have missing parts of ear or parts of tail, due to the rare fights with hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). Furthermore, there have been a few cases where white rhinoceros calves were killed by lions (Panthera leo). To avoid these potential predators, rhinoceroses may roam in groups consisting of females and calves. These groups are common in habitats where these large carnivores reside. The main predator of white rhinoceroses are humans (Home sapiens), who illegally poach them for their horns. (Estes, ; Ferreira, et al., ; Groves, ; Nowak, ; Skinner and Chimimba, )

Ecosystem Roles

White rhinoceroses are mega-herbivores that graze on vast amount of grasses. White rhinoceroses also are considered as keystone species because they help to increase the biodiversity of grasses and potentially prevent the wildfires. Waldram et al. () reported that the grazing of grasses by white rhinoceroses makes grasses so short, wildfire cannot burn the grasses. Furthermore, removal of rhinoceroses from grasslands resulted in the disappearance of 50% of the landcover of short grasses from the area.

In addition, white rhinoceroses have mutualistic relationship with cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) and Cape starling (Lamprotornis nitens). These birds feed on the insects and parasites that are present in the hide and on the back of rhinoceroses. Initially, red-billed oxpeckers (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) were also thought to have a mutualistic relationship with the rhinoceroses. However, recent studies suggested that these oxpeckers actually prolonged the healing time of wounds and removed earwax rather than feeding and reducing ticks that are on the skin.

One of the parasites that bird feed on is ticks. There are 14 species of ticks recovered from the body of white rhinoceroses, which include Amblyomma rhinocerotis, Dermacentor rhinoceros, Hyalomma truncatum, and Rhipicephalus maculatus. Parasites such as piroplasms, which are blood-borne protozoans parasites, have been associated with the disease, such as babesiosis, in white rhinoceroses, which can be fatal sometimes. Otiende et al. () found that 66% of individuals of white rhinoceroses tested exhibited infection from one species of piroplasm (Theileria bicornis). Furthermore, the infection of this parasite was not associated with age, sex or location. The infection of these parasitic protozoans has contributed to exponential decreases of white rhinoceroses. (Govender, et al., ; Groves, ; Otiende, et al., ; Penzhorn, et al., ; Waldram, et al., )

Commensal/Parasitic Species

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

White rhinoceroses are economically important for humans. Increases in ecotourism related to white rhinoceroses have helped countries financially. For example, the prices of an average ticket to see white rhinoceroses in the Kruger National Park of South Africa has tripled in the last decade. Although it is illegal to use white rhinoceroses’ horns, people obtain these horns through illegal poaching. Furthermore, the horns of white rhinoceroses are used for medications that have no scientific validity.

In addition, rhinos are known to reduce the chance of wildfire because of their grazing habits. It’s possible that they indirectly prevent damage to nearby towns. (Rachlow and Berger, ; Saayman and Merwe, )

  • body parts are source of valuable material
  • ecotourism

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Although typically not aggressive, there have been a few cases in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, where rhinoceroses have rammed the cars and scared the occupants. These aggressive behaviors of rhinoceroses are most likely caused by anthropogenic sounds that startle the rhinos. Although white rhinoceroses can injure some people, there hasn’t been any mortality associated with it. (Durrheim and Leggat, )

Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List states that the northern white rhinoceroses are “Critically Endangered” species and they are possibly extinct in the wild. According to IUCN Red List, northern white rhinoceroses have not been seen in the wild since and only four remain in the captivity. Southern white rhinoceroses are described as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List. Northern white rhinoceroses are listed in Appendix I of CITES, which means they are most endangered species and any international trade or any commercial uses are prohibited. Southern white rhinoceroses are classified into Appendix II on CITES. Appendix II states that the species are not threatened with extinction, but monitoring trade is necessary for species' numbers to be sustainable. Furthermore, the US Federal List has listed southern white rhinoceroses as “Threatened” and northern white rhinoceroses as “Endangered.” The state of Michigan list does not contain any special status of both species of white rhinoceroses.

Initially, southern white rhinoceroses were thought to be extinct by However, the discovery of four southern white rhinoceroses in Zululand, present-day South Africa, in , proved that southern white rhinoceroses were not extinct but a critically endangered species. Since the s, conservation practices have been applied, along with strong conservation laws passed by governments. However, the situation worsened after internal conflicts and civil wars arose in some African countries, which drastically decreased the white rhinoceroses’ population during late s and s. To conserve these rhinoceroses, individuals were relocated to different parks, such as Kruger National Park, South Africa. Relocation of southern white rhinoceroses has been extremely successful, as numbers grew from to in the span of 20 years ( to ). Today, there are more than 15, southern white rhinoceroses in the world.

On the other hand, northern white rhinoceroses never recovered from poaching by humans. Northern white rhinoceroses inhabit in the poor and undeveloped northern countries of Africa, such as Sudan, Chad, and Uganda. As a result of weak regulations and weak centralized governments, poaching of northern white rhinoceroses has intensified. The numbers of northern white rhinoceroses decreased from in to four in These four northern white rhinoceroses are in captivity and it has been hypothesized that there are not any northern white rhinoceroses left in the wild.

White rhinoceroses’ populations have declined because of illegal poaching by humans for horns. These horns are made of keratin and are not useful for any kind of medications. However, people, mostly from China and eastern Asia, still use the horns for their traditional medication, which science considers pseudo-medicine. In attempt to preserve rhinoceroses, CITES, in , banned international trades of all rhinoceroses. Despite the effort by CITES, the illegal killing and trading of rhinoceroses continued. The failure of CITES to limit trade gave rise to the new trade regulations, like Resolution Conf , made by the United Nations. This resolution, made in , prohibited any international/national sale or trade of the rhinoceroses’ horn and skin. The resolution also encouraged that governments destroy the stocks of rhinoceros horns. However, countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia opposed the international ban on trades of rhinoceroses’ products because these countries had horns of rhinoceroses that were collected by arresting the poachers.

In , the United States threatened to ban the trade of any wildlife and fisheries with the countries that did not follow the international trade bans. In response to the U.S. threat, countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Namibia explored alternate approaches to conserving rhinoceroses, so that they could continue international trade. The conservation practices applied by these countries were “dethroning” the horns of rhinoceroses (preemptively cutting off the horns, at no immediate harm to the individuals) and erecting fencing. Fences around the forest where rhinoceroses reside, plus armed guards, has been an effective conservation practice. Furthermore, safe dethroning techniques have reduced poaching efforts. (Ferreira, et al., ; Groves, ; Rachlow and Berger, ; Rachlow, ; Sara, )


Dharmindra Dulal (author), Radford University, Karen Powers (editor), Radford University, Alex Atwood (editor), Radford University, Marisa Dameron (editor), Radford University, Tanya Dewey (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.



living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.

World Map


uses sound to communicate

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


active at dawn and dusk

  1. active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
dominance hierarchies

ranking system or pecking order among members of a long-term social group, where dominance status affects access to resources or mates


humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.


animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

female parental care

parental care is carried out by females


an animal that mainly eats leaves.


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.


offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

keystone species

a species whose presence or absence strongly affects populations of other species in that area such that the extirpation of the keystone species in an area will result in the ultimate extirpation of many more species in that area (Example: sea otter).


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species


the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.

scent marks

communicates by producing scents from special gland(s) and placing them on a surface whether others can smell or taste them

scrub forest

scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season


remains in the same area


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

sexual ornamentation

one of the sexes (usually males) has special physical structures used in courting the other sex or fighting the same sex. For example: antlers, elongated tails, special spurs.


uses touch to communicate


that region of the Earth between degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).


Living on the ground.


defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement


The term is used in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals to refer collectively to species categorized as Endangered (E), Vulnerable (V), Rare (R), Indeterminate (I), or Insufficiently Known (K) and in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals to refer collectively to species categorized as Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN), or Vulnerable (VU).


the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from degrees north to degrees south.

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.


A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.


movements of a hard surface that are produced by animals as signals to others


uses sight to communicate


reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.

year-round breeding

breeding takes place throughout the year


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Carey, J., D. Judge. Longevity Records: Life Spans of Mammals, Birds, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Fish. Odense, Denmark: Odense University Press.

Cinkova, I., V. Bicik. Social and reproductive behaviour of critically endangered northern white rhinoceros in a zoological garden. Mammalian Biology, 78/1:

Durrheim, D., P. Leggat. Risk to tourists posed by wild mammals in South Africa. Journal of Travel Medicine, 6/3:

Estes, R. The Behavior Guide to African Mammals. Berkeley, Los Angeles, California and London, England: University of California Press.

Ferreira, S., C. Greaver, A. Grant, H. Mike, I. Smit, D. Pienaar. Disruption of rhino demography by poachers may lead to population declines in Kruger National Park, South Africa. PloS ONE, 10/6: e

Govender, D., M. Oosthuisen, B. Penzhorn. Piroplasm parasites of white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum) in the Kruger National Park, and their relation to anaemia. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, 82/1:

Groves, C. Ceratotherium simum. Mammalian Species, 8:

Metrione, L., L. Penfold, G. Waring. Social and spatial relationships in captive southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum). Zoo Biology, 26/6:

Nowak, R. Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th Edition: Volume 2. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press.

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Pienaar, J. Habitat preference of the white rhino in the Kruger National Park. Proceedings of a Symposium on “Rhinos as Game Ranch Animals”: Accessed September 03, at .

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Rachlow, J., J. Berger. Conservation implications of patterns of horn regeneration in dehorned white rhinos. Conservation Biology, 11/1:

Rachlow, J., E. Berkeley, J. Berger. Correlates of male mating strategies in white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum). Journal of Mammalogy, 74/4:

Saayman, M., P. Merwe. Determining the economic value of game farm tourism. Koedoe, 46/2:

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Sours: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Ceratotherium_simum/
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Mr Widodo Sukohadi Ramono, Indonesian Central Figure in Rhino Conservation, Passed Away

Alamat Kanotr YABI _ Jalan Bima 4 Nomor 10 Bumi Indraprasta I, Kelurahan Bantarjati Kecamatan Bogor Utara Kota Bogor, (6)

Indonesian conservation figure Widodo Sukohadi Ramono passed away today at at the Bogor BSH Hospital. He died at the age of 75, leaving behind a wife and three children.

Widodo Sukohadi Ramono is one of the main pioneers of the conservation of the Javan and Sumatran Rhino, who currently leaves a legacy of rhino conservation in Ujung Kulon National Park and Way Kambas National Park, the two main locations for the remaining rhino populations in Indonesia.

Widodo Ramono is well known worldwide for successfully leading conservation breeding efforts of the Sumatran Rhino in the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. A rhino named Andatu, born in , is the first Sumatran rhino to be born in a breeding facility in Asia in over years. After that the second rhino was born in and was named Delilah by President Joko Widodo.

Currently the Javan rhino population remains under 80 and the Sumatran rhino is believed to remain below The IUCN includes the Javan and Sumatran Rhino in the Critical Endangered category.

Throughout his life, Widodo Ramono has focused on helping the Indonesian government save the Javan and Sumatran rhinos as well as their natural habitats, especially in Ujung Kulon National Park, Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, and Lampung Way Kambas National Park.

Various countries and international institutions are helping the Indonesian government, particularly the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, to save the Javan and Sumatran Rhino from extinction. Currently, the Indonesian government is assisted by the international community such as the TFCA, the International Rhino Foundation, Global Wildlife Conservation, and a consortium of international NGOs working hard and working together to save the Sumatran rhino from extinction in Sumatra.

Widodo Ramono&#;s expertise and decades of field experience in rhino conservation went beyond national borders, where Widodo is highly respected internationally and has become a reference internationally for many experts biologists and rhino conservation.

During his lifetime, Widodo received various national and international awards. Among them received the IUCN Peter Scott Award for Conservation Merit in This award was given by IUCN for his lifelong work to save the Javan and Sumatran Rhino from extinction, from his days in the field in Ujung Kulon National Park, to his exemplary commitment as a senior Indonesian government official, to his leadership at the Indonesian Badak Foundation.

The IUCN is a collective body of 1, organizations and 17, experts. This diversity and broad expertise make the IUCN the global authority on the status of nature and the steps needed to protect it.

The late Widodo Ramono was also awarded the Knight of Order of the Golden Ark in from the Golden Ark Foundation led by Prince Bernhard in the Netherlands for his dedication to lead the conservation of Javan Rhino in Ujung Kulon National Park.

He was previously awarded the IUCN WCPA Fred M. Packard award in , for &#;outstanding service to protected areas and conservation&#;.

During his lifetime, Widodo Ramono was trusted on the world stage to become the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Survival Service Commission (SSC) &#; Asian Rhino Specialist Group, IUCN &#; SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group / Deputy Chair, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) , as a Member of the BOS Foundation Borneo Orangutan Survival Advisory Board, as well as the IUCN &#; SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, and had been active in assisting The Nature Conservancy in Indonesia

In addition, recently, Widodo Ramono received an award from the Minister of Environment and Forestry at the Environment Day Celebration for supporting elements of strengthening the function of conservation areas.

Until his last time before falling ill at the end of November, Widodo was still working in the field assisting the Indonesian government in its efforts to save the Sumatran rhino in Lampung province.

The deceased won the battle against Covid infection and was declared officially cured after undergoing treatment for two weeks at the Siloam Bogor Hospital.

In the recovery period after being declared negative and recovering from Covid, it was found that the battle that Widodo won against Covid left damage to his body, resulting in complications that caused Widodo’s death.

Until the end of his life, Widodo still communicated to strengthen his fellow rhino conservation fighters to keep up the spirit and maintain health and comply with health protocols.

The deceased will be buried in Giri Tama Bogor on Friday (25/12/) at am

Sours: https://badak.or.id/mr-widodo-sukohadi-ramono-indonesian-central-figure-in-rhino-conservation-passed-away/

Javan rhinoceros

Rare species of rhinoceros from Asia

The Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus), also known as the Sunda rhinoceros or lesser one-horned rhinoceros, is a very rare member of the family Rhinocerotidae and one of five extant rhinoceroses. It belongs to the same genus as the Indian rhinoceros, and has similar mosaic, armour-like skin, but at –&#;m (10–10&#;ft) in length and –&#;m (–&#;ft) in height, it is smaller (closer in size to the black rhinoceros of the genus Diceros). Its horn is usually shorter than 25&#;cm (&#;in), and is smaller than those of the other rhino species. Only adult males have horns; females lack them altogether.

Once the most widespread of Asian rhinoceroses, the Javan rhinoceros ranged from the islands of Java and Sumatra, throughout Southeast Asia, and into India and China. The species is critically endangered, with only one known population in the wild, and no individuals in captivity. It is possibly the rarest large mammal on Earth,[4]:&#;21&#; with a population of approximately 74 in Ujung Kulon National Park at the western tip of Java in Indonesia.[5] The Javan rhinoceros population in Vietnam's Cat Tien National Park was declared to be locally extinct in [6] The decline of the Javan rhinoceros is attributed to poaching, primarily for their horns, which are highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine, fetching as much as US$30, per kg on the black market.[4]:&#;31&#; As European presence in their range increased, trophy hunting also became a serious threat. Loss of habitat, especially as the result of wars, such as the Vietnam War, in Southeast Asia, has also contributed to the species' decline and hindered recovery.[7] The remaining range is within one nationally protected area, but the rhinos are still at risk from poachers, disease, and loss of genetic diversity leading to inbreeding depression.

The Javan rhino can live around 30–45&#;years in the wild. It historically inhabited lowland rain forest, wet grasslands, and large floodplains. It is mostly solitary, except for courtship and offspring-rearing, though groups may occasionally congregate near wallows and salt licks. Aside from humans, adults have no predators in their range. The Javan rhino usually avoids humans. Scientists and conservationists rarely study the animals directly due to their extreme rarity and the danger of interfering with such an endangered species. Researchers rely on camera traps and fecal samples to gauge health and behavior. Consequently, the Javan rhino is the least studied of all rhino species. Two adult rhinos with their calves were filmed in a motion-triggered video released on 28 February by WWF and Indonesia's National Park Authority, which proved it is still breeding in the wild.[8] In April , the National Parks Authority released video showing 35 individual Javan rhinos, including mother/offspring pairs and courting adults.[9] There are only 58 to 68 individuals left in the wild,[10] and none in captivity, after the death of a male rhinoceros named Samson. Samson died in April at 30 years of age, far younger than the species' usual lifespan of 50 to 60 years, so DNA testing is being conducted to explore the cause of death, including the possibility of inbreeding degeneration.[11]


The genus name Rhinoceros is a combination of the ancient Greek words ῥίς (ris) meaning 'nose' and κέρας (keras) meaning 'horn of an animal'.[12][13]sondaicus is derived from sunda, the biogeographical region that comprises the islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and surrounding smaller islands. The Javan rhino is also known as the lesser one-horned rhinoceros (in contrast with the greater one-horned rhinoceros, another name for the Indian rhino).[14]


Rhinoceros sondaicus was the scientific name used by Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest in for a rhinoceros from Java sent by Pierre-Médard Diard and Alfred Duvaucel to the National Museum of Natural History, France.[3][15] In the 19th century, several zoological specimens of hornless rhinoceros were described:

As of , three Javan rhinoceros subspecies are considered validtaxa:[1]

  • R. s. sondaicus, the nominate subspecies, known as the Indonesian Javan rhinoceros
  • R. s. inermis, known as the Indian Javan rhinoceros or lesser Indian rhinoceros
  • R. s. annamiticus, known as the Vietnamese Javan rhinoceros or Vietnamese rhinoceros


Main article: Rhinoceros §&#;Evolution

The Indian rhinocerospictured here is the species most closely related to the Javan rhinoceros; they are the two members of the type genusRhinoceros.

Ancestral rhinoceroses are held to have first diverged from other perissodactyls in the Early Eocene. Mitochondrial DNA comparison suggests the ancestors of modern rhinos split from the ancestors of Equidae around 50 million years ago.[19] The extant family, the Rhinocerotidae, first appeared in the Late Eocene in Eurasia, and the ancestors of the extant rhino species dispersed from Asia beginning in the Miocene.[20]

The Indian and Javan rhinoceros, the only members of the genus Rhinoceros, first appear in the fossil record in Asia During the Early Pleistocene. The oldest known record of the species is from Early Pleistocene (~ Ma) deposits at Trinil, Java.[21][22] Molecular estimates suggest the two species diverged from each other much earlier, around &#;million years ago.[23] Although belonging to the type genus, the Indian and Javan rhinoceroses are not believed to be closely related to other rhino species. Different studies have hypothesized that they may be closely related to the extinct Gaindatherium or Punjabitherium. A detailed cladistic analysis of the Rhinocerotidae placed Rhinoceros and the extinct Punjabitherium in a clade with Dicerorhinus, the Sumatran rhino. Other studies have suggested the Sumatran rhinoceros is more closely related to the two African species.[24] The Sumatran rhino may have diverged from the other Asian rhinos 15 million years ago,[20] or perhaps as far back as &#;million years ago (based on mitochondrial data).[23]


Captive Javan rhino, around

The Javan rhino is smaller than the Indian rhinoceros, and is close in size to the black rhinoceros. It is the largest animal in Java and the second-largest animal in Indonesia after the Asian elephant. The length of the Javan rhino including its head is 2 to 4 metres ( to 13 feet), and it can reach a height of –&#;m (–&#;ft). Adults are variously reported to weigh between and 2,&#;kg (1, and 5,&#;lb), although a study to collect accurate measurements of the animals has never been conducted and is not a priority because of their extreme conservation status.[25] No substantial size difference is seen between genders, but females may be slightly bigger. The rhinos in Vietnam appeared to be significantly smaller than those in Java, based on studies of photographic evidence and measurements of their footprints.[26]

Like the Indian rhino, the Javan rhinoceros has a single horn (the other extant species have two horns). Its horn is the smallest of all extant rhinos, usually less than 20&#;cm (&#;in) with the longest recorded only 27&#;cm (11&#;in). Only males have horns. Female Javan rhinos are the only extant rhinos that remain hornless into adulthood, though they may develop a tiny bump of an inch or two in height. The Javan rhinoceros does not appear to often use its horn for fighting but instead uses it to scrape mud away in wallows, to pull down plants for eating, and to open paths through thick vegetation. Similar to the other browsing species of rhino (Black and Sumatran), the Javan rhino has a long, pointed, upper lip which helps in grabbing food. Its lower incisors are long and sharp; when the Javan rhino fights, it uses these teeth. Behind the incisors, two rows of six low-crowned molars are used for chewing coarse plants. Like all rhinos, the Javan rhino smells and hears well, but has very poor vision. They are estimated to live for 30 to 45 years.[26]

Its hairless, splotchy gray or gray-brown skin falls in folds to the shoulder, back and rump. The skin has a natural mosaic pattern, which lends the rhino an armored appearance. The neck folds of the Javan rhinoceros are smaller than those of the Indian rhinoceros, but still, form a saddle shape over the shoulder. Because of the risks of interfering with such an endangered species, however, the Javan rhinoceros is primarily studied through fecal sampling and Camera traps. They are rarely encountered, observed or measured directly.[27]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Even the most optimistic estimate suggests fewer than Javan rhinos remain in the wild. They are considered one of the most endangered species in the world.[28] The Javan rhinoceros is known to survive in only one place, the Ujung Kulon National Park on the western tip of Java.[29][30]

The animal was once widespread from Assam and Bengal (where their range would have overlapped with both the Sumatran and Indian rhinos)[31] eastward to Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and southwards to the Malay Peninsula and the islands of Sumatra, Java, and possibly Borneo.[32] The Javan rhino primarily inhabits dense, lowland rain forests, grasslands, and reed beds with abundant rivers, large floodplains, or wet areas with many mud wallows. Although it historically preferred low-lying areas, the subspecies in Vietnam was pushed onto much higher ground (up to 2,&#;m or 6,&#;ft), probably because of human encroachment and poaching.[33]

The range of the Javan rhinoceros has been shrinking for at least 3, years. Starting around &#;BC, the northern range of the rhinoceros extended into China, but began moving southward at roughly &#;km (&#;mi) per year, as human settlements increased in the region.[34] It likely became locally extinct in India in the first decade of the 20th century.[31] The Javan rhino was hunted to extinction on the Malay Peninsula by [35] The last ones on Sumatra died out during World War II. They were extinct from Chittagong and the Sunderbans by the middle of the 20th century. By the end of the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese rhinoceros was believed extinct across all of mainland Asia. Local hunters and woodcutters in Cambodia claim to have seen Javan rhinos in the Cardamom Mountains, but surveys of the area have failed to find any evidence of them.[36] In the late s, a small population was found in the Cat Tien area of Vietnam. However, the last known individual of that population was shot in [37] A population may have existed on the island of Borneo, as well, though these specimens could have been the Sumatran rhinoceros, a small population of which still lives there.[32]


A museum specimen of a juvenile R. s. sondaicus

The Javan rhinoceros is a solitary animal with the exception of breeding pairs and mothers with calves. They sometimes congregate in small groups at salt licks and mud wallows. Wallowing in mud is a common behavior for all rhinos; the activity allows them to maintain cool body temperatures and helps prevent disease and parasite infestation. The Javan rhinoceros does not generally dig its own mud wallows, preferring to use other animals' wallows or naturally occurring pits, which it will use its horn to enlarge. Salt licks are also very important because of the essential nutrients the rhino receives from the salt. Male home ranges are larger at 12–20&#;km2 (–&#;sq&#;mi)) compared to the female, which are around 3–14&#;km2 (–&#;sq&#;mi)). Male territories overlap each other less than those of the female. It is not known if there are territorial fights.[38]

Males mark their territories with dung piles and by urine spraying. Scrapes made by the feet in the ground and twisted saplings also seem to be used for communication. Members of other rhino species have a peculiar habit of defecating in massive rhino dung piles and then scraping their back feet in the dung. The Sumatran and Javan rhinos, while defecating in piles, do not engage in the scraping. This adaptation in behavior is thought to be ecological; in the wet forests of Java and Sumatra, the method may not be useful for spreading odors.[10][38] The Javan rhino is much less vocal than the Sumatran; very few Javan rhino vocalizations have ever been recorded. Adults have no known predators other than humans. The species, particularly in Vietnam, is skittish and retreats into dense forests whenever humans are near. Though a valuable trait from a survival standpoint, it has made the rhinos difficult to study.[7] Nevertheless, when humans approach too closely, the Javan rhino becomes aggressive and will attack, stabbing with the incisors of its lower jaw while thrusting upward with its head.[38] Its comparatively antisocial behavior may be a recent adaptation to population stresses; historical evidence suggests they, like other rhinos, were once more gregarious.[29]


The Javan rhinoceros is herbivorous, eating diverse plant species, especially their shoots, twigs, young foliage and fallen fruit. Most of the plants favored by the species grow in sunny areas in forest clearings, shrubland and other vegetation types with no large trees. The rhino knocks down saplings to reach its food and grabs it with its prehensile upper lip. It is the most adaptable feeder of all the rhino species. Currently, it is a pure browser, but probably once both browsed and grazed in its historical range. The rhino eats an estimated 50&#;kg (&#;lb) of food daily. Like the Sumatran rhino, it needs salt in its diet. The salt licks common in its historical range do not exist in Ujung Kulon but the rhinos there have been observed drinking seawater, likely for the same nutritional need.[38]


See also: Rhinoceros's Horns

A painting from depicts the hunting of R. s. sondaicus

The main factor in the continued decline of the Javan rhinoceros population has been poaching for horns, a problem that affects all rhino species. The horns have been a traded commodity for more than 2, years in China, where they are believed to have healing properties. Historically, the rhinoceros' hide was used to make armor for Chinese soldiers, and some local tribes in Vietnam believed the hide could be used to make an antidote for snake venom.[39] Because the rhinoceros' range encompasses many areas of poverty, it has been difficult to convince local people not to kill a seemingly (otherwise) useless animal which could be sold for a large sum of money.[34] When the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora first went into effect in , the Javan rhinoceros was placed under complete Appendix 1 protection; all international trade in the Javan rhinoceros and products derived from it is illegal.[40] Surveys of the rhinoceros horn black market have determined that Asian rhinoceros horn fetches a price as high as $30, per kg, three times the value of African rhinoceros horn.[4]:&#;31&#;

As with many types of Asian and African megafauna, the Javan rhino was relentlessly hunted by trophy and big-game hunters for decades following the arrival of Europeans in its range. The rhinos being easy targets, this was as severe a contributor to its decline as was poaching for its horns. Such was the toll of big-game hunting that by the time the rhino's plight was made known to the world, only the Javan and the (then unknown) Vietnamese populations remained.

Loss of habitat because of agriculture has also contributed to its decline, though this is no longer as significant a factor because the rhinoceros only lives in one nationally protected park. Deteriorating habitats have hindered the recovery of rhino populations that fell victim to poaching. Even with all the conservation efforts, the prospects for their survival are grim. Because the population is restricted to one small area, they are very susceptible to disease and inbreeding depression. Conservation geneticists estimate a population of rhinos would be needed to preserve the genetic diversity of this conservation-reliant species.[30]

Ujung Kulon[edit]

A Dutch hunter with a dead R. s. sondaicusin Ujung Kulon,

The Ujung Kulon peninsula of Java was devastated by the eruption of Krakatoa in The Javan rhinoceros recolonized the peninsula after the event, but humans never returned in large numbers, thus creating a haven for wildlife.[30] In , as the Javan rhinoceros was on the brink of extinction in Sumatra, the government of the Dutch East Indies declared the rhino a legally protected species, which it has remained ever since.[33] A census of the rhinos in Ujung Kulon was first conducted in ; only 25 animals were recorded. By , that population had doubled and has remained steady, at about 50, ever since. Although the rhinos in Ujung Kulon have no natural predators, they have to compete for scarce resources with wild cattle, which may keep their numbers below the peninsula's carrying capacity.[41] Ujung Kulon is managed by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry.[33] Evidence of at least four baby rhinos was discovered in , the most ever documented for the species.[42]

In March , a hidden-camera video was published showing adults and juveniles, indicating recent matings and breeding.[43] During the period from January to October , the cameras had captured images of 35 rhinos. As of December , a rhino breeding sanctuary in an area of 38,&#;hectares is being finalized to help reach the target of 70 to 80 Javan rhinos by [44]

In April , the WWF and International Rhino Foundation added video cameras to the existing 40 to better monitor rhino movements and judge the size of the animals' population. A recent survey has found far fewer females than males. Only four females among 17 rhinos were recorded in the eastern half of Ujung Kulon, which is a potential setback in efforts to save the species.[45]

With Ujung Kulon as the last resort of this species, all the Javan rhinos are in one location, an advantage over the Sumatran rhino which is dispersed in different, unconnected areas. Poaching for their horns is also no longer as serious a threat as in the past, due to stricter international regulations on rhino horn, active protection efforts by local authorities, the rhinos' elusiveness and Ujung Kulon's remoteness. However, there are still obstacles to the species' recovery. Being concentrated in such a relatively small area makes the species extremely susceptible to disease and tsunamis.

In , the Asian Rhino Project was working out the best eradication programme for the arenga palm, which was blanketing the park and crowding out the rhinos' food sources. Following the trails of Javan rhinoceros allowed in-depth observation of their feeding habits in their natural habitat. Comparing the acid insoluble ash (MA) content of faeces and in the dry weight of food provided reliable estimates of digestibility, and this method has potential for wider application in situations where total collection of faecal matter is not feasible. There was a strong positive correlation between the size of home range and diversity of food intake, and between the size of home range with the numbers of wallow holes used. The quantity and quality of food intake were variable among rhinoceroses and over time. Overall energy consumption was related to the size of the animal, while the digestibility of plants consumed appeared to be influenced by individual age and habitat conditions.[46]

In May , Director of the Biodiversity Conservation at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Bambang Dahono Adji announced plans to transfer the rhinos to the Cikepuh Wildlife Sanctuary located in West Java.[47] The animals will first undergo DNA tests to determine lineage and risk to disease so as to avoid issues such as "inbreeding" or marriage kinship.[48][49] As of December , these plans had yet to concretely materialise.[50]

In December , the remaining Javan rhino population was severely endangered by the tsunami triggered by nearby volcano Anak Krakatau.[50]

Cat Tien[edit]

Head of a male R. s. annamiticusshot in Perak on the Malay Peninsula

Once widespread in Southeast Asia, the Javan rhinoceros was presumed extinct in Vietnam in the mids, at the end of the Vietnam War. The combat wrought havoc on the ecosystems of the region through the use of napalm, extensive defoliation from Agent Orange, aerial bombing, use of landmines, and overhunting by local poachers.[39]

In , the assumption of the subspecies' extinction was challenged when a hunter shot an adult female, proving the species had somehow survived the war. In , scientists surveyed Vietnam's southern forests to search for evidence of other survivors. Fresh tracks belonging to up to 15 rhinos were found along the Dong Nai River.[51] Largely because of the rhinoceros, the region they inhabited became part of the Cat Tien National Park in [39]

By the early s, their population was feared to have declined past the point of recovery in Vietnam, with some conservationists estimating as few as three to eight rhinos, and possibly no males, survived.[30][42] Conservationists debated whether or not the Vietnamese rhinoceros had any chance of survival, with some arguing that rhinos from Indonesia should be introduced in an attempt to save the population, with others arguing that the population could recover.[7][52]

Genetic analysis of dung samples collected in Cat Tien National Park in a survey from October to March showed only a single individual Javan rhinoceros remained in the park. In early May , the body of a Javan rhino was found in the park. The animal had been shot and its horn removed by poachers.[53] In October , the International Rhino Foundation confirmed the Javan rhinoceros was extinct in Vietnam, leaving only the rhinos in Ujung Kulon.[54][55][56]

In captivity[edit]

A Javan rhinoceros has not been exhibited in a zoo for over a century. In the 19th century, at least four rhinos were exhibited in Adelaide, Calcutta, and London. At least 22 Javan rhinos have been documented as having been kept in captivity; the true number is possibly greater, as the species was sometimes confused with the Indian rhinoceros.[57]

The Javan rhinoceros never fared well in captivity. The oldest lived to be 20, about half the age that the rhinos can reach in the wild. No records are known of a captive rhino giving birth. The last captive Javan rhino died at the Adelaide Zoo in Australia in , where the species was so little known that it had been exhibited as an Indian rhinoceros.[26]

In culture[edit]

Rhino tormenting the damned in the "heaven and hell" gallery at Angkor Wat (12th century)

The Javan rhinoceros occurred in Cambodia in the past and there are at least three depictions of rhinos in the bas reliefs of the temple at Angkor Wat. The west wing of the North Gallery has a relief that shows a rhino mounted by a god thought to be the fire god Agni. The rhinos are thought to be Javan rhinoceros rather than the somewhat similar looking one-horned Indian rhino on the basis of the skinfold on the shoulder which continues along the back in the Javan to give a saddle-like appearance. A depiction of the rhino in the east wing of the South Gallery shows a rhino attacking the damned in the panel depicting heaven and hell. An architect of the temple is thought to have been an Indian Brahmin priest named Divakarapandita (– AD) who served king Jayavarman VI, Dharanindravarman I as well as Suryavarman II who constructed the temple. It is thought that the Indian priest who died before the construction of the temple might have influenced the use of tubercles on the skin which are based on the Indian rhino while the local Khmer artisans carved the other details of the rhinos based on the more familiar local Javan rhino.[58] The association of the rhinoceros as the vahana of the god Agni is unique to Khmer culture.[59][60] Another rhinoceros carving in the centre of a circular arrangement in a column with other circles containing elephants and water buffalo is known from the temple of Ta Prohm. It has been at the centre of anachronistic speculation that it might represent a Stegosaur due to the leaves behind it that give the impression of plates.[61]


According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) the Javan rhino is the most threatened rhino species with only 68–74 remaining in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia.[62] The WWF has listed several threats faced by the Javan rhino that result in its designation as "critically endangered". One of those threats is its "reduced genetic diversity",[62] because the low number of existing Javan rhinos results in a low amount of genetic diversity and increased inbreeding, making it difficult for the Javan rhino to survive.[62] The WWF also identifies "natural disasters" as another threat faced by Javan rhinos, because Ujung National Park can be affected by tsunamis[62] or the explosion of the nearby volcano Anak Krakatau,[62] which potentially could wipe out the entire Javan rhino species. One such eruption and tsunami in wreaked heavy damage on the Pandeglang Regency, the district which contains Ujung Kulon National Park. However, the park and its rhino population were not significantly affected.[63] A third threat identified by the WWF is "disease", given that four Javan rhinos are believed to have died from a disease transmitted to them by wild cattle.[62] Another threat is "habitat degradation", since the WWF reports that people are encroaching and developing areas near the Ujung National Park and thus destroying the last known habitat of the Javan rhino.[62]


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  30. ^ abcdDerr, Mark (11 July ). "Racing to Know the Rarest of Rhinos, Before It's Too Late". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 October
  31. ^ abRookmaaker, L. C. (). "Historical records of the Javan rhinoceros in North-East India". Newsletter of the Rhino Foundation of Nature in North-East India (4): 11–
  32. ^ abCranbook, Earl of; Philip J. Piper (). "The Javan Rhinoceros Rhinoceros Sondaicus in Borneo"(PDF). The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 55 (1): – Archived from the original(PDF) on 11 August Retrieved 4 November
  33. ^ abcFoose, T. J.; van Strien, N. (). Asian Rhinos&#;– Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, UK. ISBN&#;.
  34. ^ abCorlett, R. T. (). "The Impact of Hunting on the Mammalian Fauna of Tropical Asian Forests". Biotropica. 39 (3): – doi/jx.
  35. ^Ismail, F. (). "On the horns of a dilemma". New Straits Times.
  36. ^Daltry, J.C.; F. Momberg (). Cardamom Mountains biodiversity survey. Cambridge: Fauna and Flora International. ISBN&#;.
  37. ^WWF (25 October ) Inadequate protection causes Javan rhino extinction in VietnamArchived 5 March at the Wayback Machine.
  38. ^ abcdHutchins, M.; M.D. Kreger (). "Rhinoceros behaviour: implications for captive management and conservation". International Zoo Yearbook. 40 (1): – doi/jx.
  39. ^ abcStanley, Bruce (22 June ). "Scientists Find Surviving Members of Rhino Species". Associated Press.
  40. ^Emslie, R.; M. Brooks (). African Rhino. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC African Rhino Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. ISBN&#;.
  41. ^Dursin, R. (16 January ). "Environment-Indonesia: Javan Rhinoceros Remains At High Risk". Inter Press Service.
  42. ^ abWilliamson, Lucy (1 September ). "Baby boom for near-extinct rhino". BBC News. Retrieved 16 October
  43. ^Rare rhinos captured on camera in Indonesia, video, ABC News Online, 1 March (Expires: 30 May )
  44. ^Cameras show 35 rare rhinos in Indonesia: official, PhysOrg, 30 December
  45. ^"Cameras Used to Help Save Endangered Javan Rhino". Jakarta Globe. Archived from the original on 23 June
  46. ^Hariyadi, A. R. S. (July ). "Analysis of nutritional quality and food digestibility in male Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) in Ujung Kulon National Park". Pachyderm (57): 86–
  47. ^"Javan Rhinos to be Transferred to Cikepuh Wildlife Reserve".
  48. ^"Badak Jawa Akan Jalani Tes DNA Sebelum Dipindah ke Cikepuh".
  49. ^"Badak jawa akan huni Suaka Margasatwa Cikepuh".
  50. ^ ab"Endangered Javan rhino at risk from tsunami". BBC News. 28 December Retrieved 28 December
  51. ^Raeburn, Paul (24 April ). "World's Rarest Rhinos Found in War-Ravaged Region of Vietnam". Associated Press.
  52. ^"Javan Rhinoceros; Rare, mysterious, and highly threatened". World Wildlife Fund. 28 March Retrieved 4 November
  53. ^"Rare Javan rhino found dead in Vietnam". WWF. 10 May
  54. ^Kinver, M. (24 October ). "Javan rhino 'now extinct in Vietnam'". BBC News. Retrieved 19 June
  55. ^Gersmann, Hanna (25 October ). "Javan rhino driven to extinction in Vietnam, conservationists say". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October
  56. ^WWF&#;– Inadequate protection causes Javan rhino extinction in Vietnam. Wwf.panda.org (25 October ). Retrieved 24 February
  57. ^Rookmaaker, L.C. (). "A Javan rhinoceros, Rhinoceros sondaicus, in Bali in ". Zoologische Garten. 75 (2): –
  58. ^de Longh, H. H.; Prins, H. H. T.; van Strien, N.; Rookmaaker, L. G. (). "Some observations on the presence of one-horned rhinos in the bas reliefs of the Angkor Wat temple complex, Cambodia"(PDF). Pachyderm. 38: 98–
  59. ^Poole, C. M.; Duckworth, J. W. (). "A documented 20th century record of Javan Rhinoceros Rhinoceros sondaicus from Cambodia". Mammalia. 69 (3–4). doi/mamm S2CID&#;
  60. ^Stönner, H. (). "Erklärung des Nashornreiters auf den Reliefs von Angkor-Vat". Artibus Asiae. 1 (2): – doi/ JSTOR&#;
  61. ^Switek, B. (). "Stegosaurus, Rhinoceros, or Hoax?". Smithsonian Magazine.
  62. ^ abcdefg"Javan Rhino". WWF. Retrieved 4 April
  63. ^"67 Ekor Badak Jawa di Ujung Kulon Tak Terkena Dampak Tsunami". Tribunnews.com (in Indonesian). 24 December Retrieved 24 December

External links[edit]

  • Javan Rhino Info and Pictures on the Rhino Resource Center
  • International Rhino Foundation dedicated to the conservation of rhinos: Javan Rhino
  • van Strien, N. J.; Steinmetz, R.; Manullang, B.; Sectionov; Han, K.H.; Isnan, W.; Rookmaaker, K.; Sumardja, E.; Khan, M. K. M. & Ellis, S. (). "Rhinoceros sondaicus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. : e.TA doi/IUCN.UKRLTS.TAen. Retrieved 25 October
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javan_rhinoceros

Fight death rhino to

Sumatran rhinoceros

Endangered species of small Asian rhinoceros

"Hairy rhinoceros" redirects here. For the extinct megafauna, see woolly rhinoceros.

The Sumatran rhinoceros, also known as the hairy rhinoceros or Asian two-horned rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), is a rare member of the family Rhinocerotidae and one of five extant species of rhinoceros. It is the only extant species of the genusDicerorhinus. It is the smallest rhinoceros, although it is still a large mammal; it stands –&#;cm (–&#;ft) high at the shoulder, with a head-and-body length of –&#;m (–&#;ft) and a tail of 35–70&#;cm (14–28&#;in). The weight is reported to range from to 1,&#;kg (1, to 2,&#;lb), averaging –&#;kg (1,–1,&#;lb), although there is a single record of a 2,&#;kg (4,&#;lb) specimen. Like both African species, it has two horns; the larger is the nasal horn, typically 15–25&#;cm (–&#;in), while the other horn is typically a stub. A coat of reddish-brown hair covers most of the Sumatran rhino's body.

Members of the species once inhabited rainforests, swamps, and cloud forests in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. In historical times, they lived in southwest China, particularly in Sichuan.[7][8] They are now critically endangered, with only five substantial populations in the wild: four in Sumatra and one in Borneo. Their numbers are difficult to determine because they are solitary animals that are widely scattered across their range, but they are estimated to number fewer than [9][10] The species was completely extirpated from Malaysia in , and one of the Sumatran populations may already be extinct. In , researchers announced that the Bornean rhinoceros had become extinct from the northern part of Borneo (Sabah, Malaysia);[11] however, a tiny population was discovered in East Kalimantan in early [12]

The Sumatran rhino is a mostly solitary animal except for courtship and offspring-rearing. It is the most vocal rhino species and also communicates through marking soil with its feet, twisting saplings into patterns, and leaving excrement. The species is much better studied than the similarly reclusive Javan rhinoceros, in part because of a program that brought 40 Sumatran rhinos into captivity with the goal of preserving the species. There was little or no information about procedures that would assist in ex situ breeding. Though a number of rhinos died once at the various destinations and no offspring were produced for nearly 20 years, the rhinos were all doomed in their soon-to-be-logged forest.[13] In March , a Sumatran rhinoceros (of the Bornean rhinoceros subspecies) was spotted in Indonesian Borneo.[14]

The Indonesian ministry of Environment, began an official counting of the Sumatran rhino in February , planned to be completed in three years.[15] Malaysia's last known male and female Sumatran rhinoceroses died in May and November , respectively. The species is now considered to be locally extinct in that country, and only survives in Indonesia. There are fewer than 80 left in existence.[16] According to the World Wildlife Fund, their numbers are [17]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

First drawing of the first specimen known to Western science, by William Bell,

The first documented Sumatran rhinoceros was shot 16&#;km (&#;mi) outside Fort Marlborough, near the west coast of Sumatra, in Drawings of the animal, and a written description, were sent to the naturalistJoseph Banks, then president of the Royal Society of London, who published a paper on the specimen that year.[18] In , the species was given a scientific name by Johann Fischer von Waldheim.[19][20]

The specific epithet sumatrensis signifies "of Sumatra", the Indonesian island where the rhinos were first discovered.[21]Carl Linnaeus originally classified all rhinos in the genus, Rhinoceros; therefore, the species was originally identified as Rhinoceros sumatrensis or sumatranus.[22]Joshua Brookes considered the Sumatran rhinoceros, with its two horns, a distinct genus from the one-horned Rhinoceros, and gave it the name Didermocerus in Constantin Wilhelm Lambert Gloger proposed the name Dicerorhinus in In , John Edward Gray proposed the name Ceratorhinus. Normally, the oldest name would be used, but a ruling by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature established the proper genus name as Dicerorhinus.[4][23]Dicerorhinus comes from the Greek terms di (δι, meaning "two"), cero (κέρας, meaning "horn"), and rhinos (ρινος, meaning "nose").[24]

The three subspecies are:

D. s. sumatrensis, known as the western Sumatran rhinoceros, which has only 75 to 85 rhinos remaining, mostly in the national parks of Bukit Barisan Selatan and Kerinci Seblat, Gunung Leuser in Sumatra, but also in Way Kambas National Park in small numbers.[2] They have recently gone extinct in Peninsular Malaysia. The main threats against this subspecies are habitat loss and poaching. A slight genetic difference is noted between the western Sumatran and Bornean rhinos.[2] The rhinos in Peninsular Malaysia were once known as D. s. niger, but were later recognized to be a synonym of D. s. sumatrensis.[4] Three males and four females currently live in captivity at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary at Way Kambas, the youngest male having been bred and born there in [25] Another calf, a female, was born at the sanctuary in May [26] The sanctuary's two males were born at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.[27]

D. s. harrissoni, known as the Bornean rhinoceros or eastern Sumatran rhinoceros, which was once common throughout Borneo; now only about 15 individuals are estimated to survive.[12] The known population lives in East Kalimantan, with them having recently gone extinct in Sabah.[28] Reports of animals surviving in Sarawak are unconfirmed.[2] This subspecies is named after Tom Harrisson, who worked extensively with Bornean zoology and anthropology in the s.[29] The Bornean subspecies is markedly smaller in body size than the other two subspecies.[4] The captive population consisted of one male and two females at the Borneo Rhinoceros Sanctuary in Sabah; the male died in and the females died in and respectively.[30][31]

D. s. lasiotis, known as the northern Sumatran rhinoceros or Chittagong rhinoceros, which once roamed India and Bangladesh, has been declared extinct in these countries. Unconfirmed reports suggest a small population may still survive in Myanmar, but the political situation in that country has prevented verification.[2] The name lasiotis is derived from the Greek for "hairy-ears". Later studies showed that their ear hair was not longer than other Sumatran rhinos, but D. s. lasiotis remained a subspecies because it was significantly larger than the other subspecies.[4]


Main article: Rhinoceros §&#;Evolution

Skeleton of the Sumatran rhinoceros

Ancestral rhinoceroses first diverged from other perissodactyls in the Early Eocene. Mitochondrial DNA comparison suggests the ancestors of modern rhinos split from the ancestors of Equidae around 50 million years ago.[32][33] The extant family, the Rhinocerotidae, first appeared in the Late Eocene in Eurasia, and the ancestors of the extant rhino species dispersed from Asia beginning in the Miocene.[34]

The Sumatran rhinoceros is considered the least derived of the extant species, as it shares more traits with its Miocene ancestors.[35]:&#;13&#; Paleontological evidence in the fossil record dates the genus Dicerorhinus to the Early Miocene, 23–16 million years ago. Many fossils have been classified as members of Dicerorhinus, but no other recent species are in the genus.[36] Molecular dating suggests the split of Dicerorhinus from the four other extant species as far back as ± million years. Three hypotheses have been proposed for the relationship between the Sumatran rhinoceros and the other living species. One hypothesis suggests the Sumatran rhinoceros is closely related to the black and white rhinos in Africa, evidenced by the species having two horns, instead of one.[32] Other taxonomists regard the Sumatran rhinoceros as a sister taxon of the Indian and Javan rhinoceros because their ranges overlap so closely.[32][37] A third hypothesis, based on more recent analyses, however, suggests that the two African rhinos, the two Asian rhinos, and the Sumatran rhinoceros represent three essentially separate lineages that split around million years ago; which group diverged first remains unclear.[32][38] Recent studies suggest that many specimens attributed to Dicerorhinus from the Pleistocene of China actually belong to Stephanorhinus, a closely related genus.[39] The earliest fossil record of the species is from the Early Pleistocene LiuchengGigantopithecus Cave in Guangxi, China, which consists of a nearly complete mandible with preserved cheek teeth and various isolated teeth.[40]

Because of morphological similarities, the Sumatran rhinoceros is believed to be closely related to the extinct woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) and Stephanorhinus. The woolly rhinoceros, so named for the coat of hair it shares with the Sumatran rhinoceros, first appeared in China; by the Upper Pleistocene, it ranged across the Eurasian continent from Korea to Spain. The woolly rhinoceros survived the last Ice Age, but, like the woolly mammoth, most or all became extinct around 10, years ago. Stephanorhinus species are well known in Europe from the Late Pliocene through the Pleistocene, and China from the Pleistocene, with two species, Merck's rhinoceros and the narrow-nosed rhinoceros surviving into the last glacial period. Although some morphological studies questioned the relationship,[38] recent molecular analysis has supported the close relationship.[41]

Pairwise sequential Markoviancoalescent (PSMC) analysis of a complete nuclear genome of a Sumatran specimen suggested strong fluctuations in population size, with a general trend of decline over the course of the Middle to Late Pleistocene with an estimated peak effective population size of 57, individuals , years ago, declining to around –1, individuals at the start of the Holocene, with a slight rebound during the Eemian Interglacial. This was likely due to climate change causing limiting suitable habitat for the Rhinoceros, causing severe population fluctuations as well as population fragmentation due to the flooding of Sundaland. Human induced habitat change and hunting may have played a role in the Late Pleistocene.[42] The study was later criticised for not including DNA from extinct mainland populations, which would have provided a holistic account.[43] A Bayesian skyline plot of complete Mitochondrial genomes from multiple individuals from across the range of the species suggested that the population had been relatively stable with an effective population size of 40, individuals over the last , years, with a sharp decline starting around 25, years ago.[44]


Sumatran rhinoceros at the Cincinnati Zoo in Cincinnati, Ohio

A mature Sumatran rhino stands about –&#;cm (–&#;ft) high at the shoulder, has a body length of around &#;cm (&#;ft), and weighs –&#;kg (1,–1,&#;lb),[45] though the largest individuals in zoos have been known to weigh as much as 2,&#;kg (4,&#;lb).[46] Like the two African species, it has two horns. The larger is the nasal horn, typically only 15–25&#;cm (–&#;in), though the longest recorded specimen was much longer at 81&#;cm (32&#;in).[45] The posterior horn is much smaller, usually less than 10&#;cm (&#;in) long, and often little more than a knob. The larger nasal horn is also known as the anterior horn; the smaller posterior horn is known as the frontal horn.[36] The horns are dark grey or black in color. The males have larger horns than the females, though the species is not otherwise sexually dimorphic. The Sumatran rhino lives an estimated 30–45 years in the wild, while the record time in captivity is a female D. lasiotis, which lived for 32 years and 8 months before dying in the London Zoo in [36]

Two thick folds of skin encircle the body behind the front legs and before the hind legs. The rhino has a smaller fold of skin around its neck. The skin itself is thin, 10–16&#;mm (–&#;in), and in the wild, the rhino appears to have no subcutaneous fat. Hair can range from dense (the most dense hair in young calves) to scarce, and is usually a reddish brown. In the wild, this hair is hard to observe because the rhinos are often covered in mud. In captivity, however, the hair grows out and becomes much shaggier, likely because of less abrasion from walking through vegetation. The rhino has a patch of long hair around its ears and a thick clump of hair at the end of its tail. Like all rhinos, they have very poor vision. The Sumatran rhinoceros is fast and agile; it climbs mountains easily and comfortably traverses steep slopes and riverbanks.[21][36][45]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

A rhinoceros roaming the ruined city of Chiang Saen, northern Thailand, in

The Sumatran rhinoceros lives in both lowland and highland secondary rainforest, swamps, and cloud forests. It inhabits hilly areas close to water, particularly steep upper valleys with copious undergrowth. The Sumatran rhinoceros once inhabited a continuous range as far north as Burma, eastern India, and Bangladesh. Unconfirmed reports also placed it in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. All known living animals occur in the island of Sumatra. Some conservationists hope Sumatran rhinos may still survive in Burma, though it is considered unlikely. Political turmoil in Burma has prevented any assessment or study of possible survivors.[47] The last reports of stray animals from Indian limits were in the s.[48]

The Sumatran rhino is widely scattered across its range, much more so than the other Asian rhinos, which has made it difficult for conservationists to protect members of the species effectively.[47] Only four areas are known to contain Sumatran rhinoceros: Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Gunung Leuser National Park, and Way Kambas National Park on Sumatra; and on Indonesian Borneo west of Samarindah.[49]

The Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra's largest, was estimated to contain a population of around rhinos in the s,[50] but due to poaching, this population is now considered extinct. The survival of any animals in Peninsular Malaysia is extremely unlikely.[51]

Genetic analysis of Sumatran rhino populations has identified three distinct genetic lineages.[20] The channel between Sumatra and Malaysia was not as significant a barrier for the rhinos as the Barisan Mountains along the length of Sumatra, for rhinos in eastern Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia are more closely related than the rhinos on the other side of the mountains in western Sumatra. In fact, the eastern Sumatra and Malaysia rhinos show so little genetic variance, the populations were likely not separate during the Pleistocene, when sea levels were much lower and Sumatra formed part of the mainland. Both populations of Sumatra and Malaysia, however, are close enough genetically that interbreeding would not be problematic. The rhinos of Borneo are sufficiently distinct that conservation geneticists have advised against crossing their lineages with the other populations.[20] Conservation geneticists have recently begun to study the diversity of the gene pool within these populations by identifying microsatellite loci. The results of initial testing found levels of variability within Sumatran rhino populations comparable to those in the population of the less endangered African rhinos, but the genetic diversity of Sumatran rhinos is an area of continuing study.[52]

Although the rhino had been thought to be extinct in Kalimantan since the s, in March World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced that the team when monitoring orangutan activity found in West Kutai Regency, East Kalimantan, several fresh rhino foot trails, mud holes, traces of rhino-rubbed trees, traces of rhino horns on the walls of mud holes, and rhino bites on small branches. The team also identified that rhinos ate more than 30 species of plants.[53] On 2 October , video images made with camera traps showing the Sumatran rhino in Kutai Barat, Kalimantan, were released by the World Wildlife Fund. Experts assume the videos show two different animals, but aren't quite certain. According to the Indonesia's Minister of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan called the video evidence "very important" and mentioned Indonesia's "target of rhino population growth by three percent per year".[20][54] On 22 March it was announced by the WWF that a live Sumatran Rhino was found in Kalimantan; it was the first contact in over 40 years. The rhino, a female, is being transported to a nearby sanctuary.[55]

Iman, the last known Sumatran rhino in Malaysia, died in November ; stem cell technology is being used in an attempt to revitalize the rhino's population and reverse extinction in the country.[56]


Male of the extinct D. s. lasiotiswith a large front horn,[57]London Zoo around

Sumatran rhinoceroses are solitary creatures except for pairing before mating and during offspring rearing. Individuals have home ranges; bulls have territories as large as 50&#;km2 (19&#;sq&#;mi), whereas females' ranges are 10–15&#;km2 (–&#;sq&#;mi).[21] The ranges of females appear to be spaced apart; males' ranges often overlap. No evidence indicates Sumatran rhinos defend their territories through fighting. Marking their territories is done by scraping soil with their feet, bending saplings into distinctive patterns, and leaving excrement. The Sumatran rhino is usually most active when eating, at dawn, and just after dusk. During the day, they wallow in mud baths to cool down and rest. In the rainy season, they move to higher elevations; in the cooler months, they return to lower areas in their range.[21] When mud holes are unavailable, the rhino will deepen puddles with its feet and horns. The wallowing behaviour helps the rhino maintain its body temperature and protect its skin from ectoparasites and other insects. Captive specimens, deprived of adequate wallowing, have quickly developed broken and inflamed skins, suppurations, eye problems, inflamed nails, and hair loss, and have eventually died. One month study of wallowing behavior found they will visit no more than three wallows at any given time. After two to 12 weeks using a particular wallow, the rhino will abandon it. Typically, the rhino will wallow around midday for two to three hours at a time before venturing out for food. Although in zoos the Sumatran rhino has been observed wallowing less than 45 minutes a day, the study of wild animals found 80– minutes (an average of minutes) per day spent in wallows.[58]

Sumatran rhinoceros wallowing, Cincinnati Zoo

There has been little opportunity to study epidemiology in the Sumatran rhinoceros. Ticks and gyrostigma were reported to cause deaths in captive animals in the 19th century.[45] The rhino is also known to be vulnerable to the blood disease surra, which can be spread by horse-flies carrying parasitic trypanosomes; in , all five rhinos at the Sumatran Rhinoceros Conservation Center died over an day period after becoming infected by the disease.[59] The Sumatran rhino has no known predators other than humans. Tigers and wild dogs may be capable of killing a calf, but calves stay close to their mothers, and the frequency of such killings is unknown. Although the rhino's range overlaps with elephants and tapirs, the species do not appear to compete for food or habitat. Elephants (Elephas maximus) and Sumatran rhinos are even known to share trails, and many smaller species such as deer, boars, and wild dogs will use the trails the rhinos and elephants create.[21][60]

The Sumatran rhino maintains trails across its range. These trails fall into two types. Main trails will be used by generations of rhinos to travel between important areas in the rhino's range, such as between salt licks, or in corridors through inhospitable terrain that separates ranges. In feeding areas, the rhinos will make smaller trails, still covered by vegetation, to areas containing food the rhino eats. Sumatran rhino trails have been found that cross rivers deeper than &#;m (&#;ft) and about 50&#;m (&#;ft) across. The currents of these rivers are known to be strong, but the rhino is a strong swimmer.[36][45] A relative absence of wallows near rivers in the range of the Sumatran rhinoceros indicates they may occasionally bathe in rivers in lieu of wallowing.[60]


Most feeding occurs just before nightfall and in the morning. The Sumatran rhino is a folivore,[62] with a diet of young saplings, leaves, twigs, and shoots.[36] The rhinos usually consume up to 50&#;kg (&#;lb) of food a day.[21] Primarily by measuring dung samples, researchers have identified more than food species consumed by the Sumatran rhinoceros. The largest portion of the diet is tree saplings with a trunk diameter of 1–6&#;cm (–&#;in). The rhinoceros typically pushes these saplings over with its body, walking over the sapling without stepping on it, to eat the leaves. Many of the plant species the rhino consumes exist in only small portions, which indicates the rhino is frequently changing its diet and feeding in different locations.[60] Among the most common plants the rhino eats are many species from the Euphorbiaceae, Rubiaceae, and Melastomataceae families. The most common species the rhino consumes is Eugenia.[61]

The vegetal diet of the Sumatran rhinoceros is high in fiber and only moderate in protein.[63] Salt licks are very important to the nutrition of the rhino. These licks can be small hot springs, seepages of salty water, or mud-volcanoes. The salt licks also serve an important social purpose for the rhinos—males visit the licks to pick up the scent of females in oestrus. Some Sumatran rhinos, however, live in areas where salt licks are not readily available, or the rhinos have not been observed using the licks. These rhinos may get their necessary mineral requirements by consuming plants rich in minerals.[60][61]


The Sumatran rhinoceros is the most vocal of the rhinoceros species.[64] Observations of the species in zoos show the animal almost constantly vocalizing, and it is known to do so in the wild, as well.[45] The rhino makes three distinct noises: eeps, whales, and whistle-blows. The eep, a short, one-second-long yelp, is the most common sound. The whale, named for its similarity to vocalizations of the humpback whale, is the most song-like vocalization and the second-most common. The whale varies in pitch and lasts from four to seven seconds. The whistle-blow is named because it consists of a two-second-long whistling noise and a burst of air in immediate succession. The whistle-blow is the loudest of the vocalizations, loud enough to make the iron bars in the zoo enclosure where the rhinos were studied vibrate. The purpose of the vocalizations is unknown, though they are theorized to convey danger, sexual readiness, and location, as do other ungulate vocalizations. The whistle-blow could be heard at a great distance, even in the dense brush in which the Sumatran rhino lives. A vocalization of similar volume from elephants has been shown to carry &#;km (&#;mi) and the whistle-blow may carry as far.[64] The Sumatran rhinoceros will sometimes twist the saplings they do not eat. This twisting behavior is believed to be used as a form of communication, frequently indicating a junction in a trail.[60]


Mother with four-day-old juvenile

Females become sexually mature at the age of six to seven years, while males become sexually mature at about 10 years old. The gestation period is around 15–16 months. The calf, which typically weighs 40–60&#;kg (88–&#;lb), is weaned after about 15 months and stays with its mother for the first two to three years of its life. In the wild, the birth interval for this species is estimated to be four to five years; its natural offspring-rearing behavior is unstudied.[21]

The reproductive habits of the Sumatran rhinoceros have been studied in captivity. Sexual relationships begin with a courtship period characterized by increased vocalization, tail raising, urination, and increased physical contact, with both male and female using their snouts to bump the other in the head and genitals. The pattern of courtship is most similar to that of the black rhinoceros. Young Sumatran rhino males are often too aggressive with females, sometimes injuring and even killing them during the courtship. In the wild, the female could run away from an overly aggressive male, but in their smaller captive enclosures, they cannot; this inability to escape aggressive males may partly contribute to the low success rate of captive-breeding programs.[65][66][67]

The period of oestrus itself, when the female is receptive to the male, lasts about 24 hours, and observations have placed its recurrence between 21 and 25 days. Rhinos in the Cincinnati Zoo have been observed copulating for 30–50 minutes, similar in length to other rhinos; observations at the Sumatran Rhinoceros Conservation Centre in Malaysia have shown a briefer copulation cycle. As the Cincinnati Zoo has had successful pregnancies, and other rhinos also have lengthy copulatory periods, a lengthy rut may be the natural behavior.[65] Though researchers observed successful conceptions, all these pregnancies ended in failure for a variety of reasons until the first successful captive birth in ; studies of these failures at the Cincinnati Zoo discovered the Sumatran rhino's ovulation is induced by mating and it had unpredictable progesterone levels.[68] Breeding success was finally achieved in , , and by providing a pregnant rhino with supplementary progestin.[69] Recently, a calf was born in captivity of an endangered female in western Indonesia, only the fifth such birth in one and a quarter century.[70]


D. s. sumatrensis, Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary

In the wild[edit]

Sumatran rhinoceroses were once quite numerous throughout Southeast Asia. Fewer than individuals are now estimated to remain.[2][10] The species is classed as critically endangered (primarily due to illegal poaching) while the last survey in estimated that around individuals survived.[71][72] From the early s, the population decline was estimated at more than 50% per decade, and the small, scattered populations now face high risks of inbreeding depression.[2] Most remaining habitat is in relatively inaccessible mountainous areas of Indonesia.[73][74]

Poaching of Sumatran rhinoceroses is a cause for concern, due to the high market price of its horn.[35]:&#;31&#; This species has been overhunted for many centuries, leading to the current greatly reduced&#;– and still declining&#;– population.[2] The rhinos are difficult to observe and hunt directly (one field researcher spent seven weeks in a treehide near a salt lick without ever observing a rhino directly), so poachers make use of spear traps and pit traps. In the s, uses of the rhinoceros's body parts among the local people of Sumatra were documented, such as the use of rhino horns in amulets and a folk belief that the horns offer some protection against poison. Dried rhinoceros meat was used as medicine for diarrhea, leprosy, and tuberculosis. "Rhino oil", a concoction made from leaving a rhino's skull in coconut oil for several weeks, may be used to treat skin diseases. The extent of use and belief in these practices is not known.[45][47][60] Rhinoceros horn was once believed to be widely used as an aphrodisiac; in fact traditional Chinese medicine never used it for this purpose.[35]:&#;29&#; Nevertheless, hunting in this species has primarily been driven by a demand for rhino horns with unproven medicinal properties.[2]

Adult with juvenile, Cincinnati Zoo

The rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia, which the Sumatran rhino inhabits, are also targets for legal and illegal logging because of the desirability of their hardwoods. Rare woods such as merbau, meranti and semaram are valuable on the international markets, fetching as much as $1,&#;per&#;m3 ($1,&#;per&#;cu&#;yd). Enforcement of illegal-logging laws is difficult because humans live within or near many of the same forests as the rhino. The Indian Ocean earthquake has been used to justify new logging. Although the hardwoods in the rainforests of the Sumatran rhino are destined for international markets and not widely used in domestic construction, the number of logging permits for these woods has increased dramatically because of the tsunami.[49] However, while this species has been suggested to be highly sensitive to habitat disturbance, apparently it is of little importance compared to hunting, as it can withstand more or less any forest condition.[2] Nevertheless, the main cause of drastic reduction of the species is likely caused by the Allee effect.[75]

The Bornean rhino in Sabah was confirmed to be extinct in the wild in April , with only 3 individuals left in captivity.[76]

The mainland Sumatran rhino in Malaysia was confirmed to be extinct in the wild in August [77]

In March there was a rare sighting of a Sumatran rhino in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. The last time there was a Sumatran rhino in the Kalimantan area was approximately 40 years ago. This optimism was met with despair as that very specific Sumatran rhino was found dead several weeks later after the sighting. The reason of the death is currently unknown.[78]

The Indonesian ministry of the Environment began an official counting of the Sumatran rhino in February The track and tally exercise was planned to be completed in three years.[15]

In captivity[edit]

The female D. s. lasiotis"Begum", which was shown in London Zoo from 15 February to 31 August

Sumatran rhinoceroses do not thrive outside of their ecosystem. The London Zoo acquired a male and female in that had been captured in Chittagong in The female named "Begum" survived until , the record lifetime for a captive rhino.[79] Begum was one of at least seven specimens of the extinct subspecies D. s. lasiotis that were held in zoos and circuses.[45] In , Subur, the only Sumatran rhino remaining in captivity, died at the Copenhagen Zoo.[45]

Despite the species' persistent lack of reproductive success, in the early s, some conservation organizations began a captive-breeding program for the Sumatran rhinoceros. Between and , this ex situ conservation program transported 40 Sumatran rhinos from their native habitats to zoos and reserves across the world. While hopes were initially high, and much research was conducted on the captive specimens, by the late s, not a single rhino had been born in the program, and most of its proponents agreed the program had been a failure. In , the IUCN's Asian rhino specialist group, which once endorsed the program, declared it had failed "even maintaining the species within acceptable limits of mortality", noting that, in addition to the lack of births, 20 of the captured rhinos had died.[47] In , a surra outbreak at the Sumatran Rhinoceros Conservation Centre killed all the captive rhinos in Peninsular Malaysia, reducing the population of captive rhinos to eight.[59][74]

The preserved remainsof the last Sumatran rhinoceros in captivity by the s, a female called "Subur" which died in "Subur" ironically means "fertile" in Malay.

Seven of these captive rhinos were sent to the United States (the other was kept in Southeast Asia), but by , their numbers had dwindled to three: a female in the Los Angeles Zoo, a male in the Cincinnati Zoo, and a female in the Bronx Zoo. In a final effort, the three rhinos were united in Cincinnati. After years of failed attempts, the female from Los Angeles, Emi, became pregnant for the sixth time, with the zoo's male Ipuh. All five of her previous pregnancies ended in failure. Reproductive physiologist at the Cincinnati Zoo, Terri Roth, had learned from previous failures, though, and with the aid of special hormone treatments, Emi gave birth to a healthy male calf named Andalas (an Indonesian literary word for Sumatra) in September [80] Andalas's birth was the first successful captive birth of a Sumatran rhino in years. A female calf, named "Suci" (Indonesian for "pure"), followed on 30 July [81] On 29 April , Emi gave birth a third time, to her second male calf, named Harapan (Indonesian for "hope") or Harry.[69][82] In , Andalas, who had been living at the Los Angeles Zoo, was returned to Sumatra to take part in breeding programs with healthy females,[67][83] leading to the siring and 23 June birth of male calf Andatu, the fourth captive-born calf of the era; Andalas had been mated with Ratu, a wild-born female living in the Rhino Sanctuary at Way Kambas National Park.[84]

Despite the recent successes in Cincinnati, the captive-breeding program has remained controversial. Proponents argue that the zoos have not only aided the conservation effort by studying the reproductive habits, raising public awareness and education about the rhinos, helping raise financial resources for conservation efforts in Sumatra but, moreover, to have established a small captive breeding group.[85] Opponents of the captive breeding program argue that the losses are too great; the program is too expensive; removing rhinos from their habitat, even temporarily, alters their ecological role; and captive populations cannot match the rate of recovery seen in well-protected native habitats.[67] In October Harapan, the last rhino in the Western Hemisphere, left the Cincinnati Zoo to Indonesia.[86]

Sumatran rhinoceroses Emi and Harapan at the Cincinnati Zoo

In August , there were only three Sumatran rhinos left in Malaysia, all in captivity in the eastern state of Sabah: A male named Tam and two females named Puntung and Iman.[87] In June , Puntung was put down due to skin cancer.[88] Tam died on 27 May and Iman died of cancer on 23 November at the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary.[89][90][91][92] The species became extinct in Malaysia, its native land in [17]

In Indonesia, meanwhile, a seventh rhino increased the group at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, in Way Kambas NP. A female was born on 12 May [93]

Cultural depictions[edit]

Illustration of 'Begum' from

Aside from those few individuals kept in zoos and pictured in books, the Sumatran rhinoceros has remained little known, overshadowed by the more common Indian, black and white rhinos. Recently, however, video footage of the Sumatran rhinoceros in its native habitat and in breeding centers has been featured in several nature documentaries. Extensive footage can be found in an Asia Geographic documentary The Littlest Rhino. Natural History New Zealand showed footage of a Sumatran rhino, shot by freelance Indonesian-based cameraman Alain Compost, in the documentary The Forgotten Rhino, which featured mainly Javan and Indian rhinos.[94][95]

Though they were documented by droppings and tracks, pictures of the Bornean rhinoceros were first taken and widely distributed by modern conservationists in April , when camera traps photographed a healthy adult in the jungles of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo.[96] On 24 April , it was announced that cameras had captured the first-ever video footage of a wild Bornean rhino. The night-time footage showed the rhino eating, peering through jungle foliage, and sniffing the film equipment. The World Wildlife Fund, which took the video, has used it in efforts to convince local governments to turn the area into a rhino conservation zone.[97][98] Monitoring has continued; 50 new cameras have been set up, and in February , what appeared to be a pregnant rhino was filmed.[99]

A number of folk tales about the Sumatran rhino were collected by colonial naturalists and hunters from the midth century to the early 20th century. In Burma, the belief was once widespread that the Sumatran rhino ate fire. Tales described the fire-eating rhino following smoke to its source, especially campfires, and then attacking the camp. There was also a Burmese belief that the best time to hunt was every July, when the Sumatran rhinos would congregate beneath the full moon. In Malaya, it was said that the rhino's horn was hollow and could be used as a sort of hose for breathing air and squirting water. In Malaya and Sumatra, it was once believed that the rhino shed its horn every year and buried it under the ground. In Borneo, the rhino was said to have a strange carnivorous practice: after defecating in a stream, it would turn around and eat fish that had been stupefied by the excrement.[45]


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Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumatran_rhinoceros
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