Posts Tagged With: javan

Ring of Fire: life or death for most rare rhinos

Where does the rarest of all rhinos live?

…Ujung Kulon National Park, in the western tip of Indonesia.  It is also one of the most densely populated areas on Earth AND one of most volcanically active as well.

javan-map

 

Java’s volcanoes have left their mark on the Javan rhinoceros’ fate in many ways.

They gave the island its immense fertility, rich enough to feed the fast-growing population; that is until man began to poach them.  Man drove the rhino to the corners of Java ‑ out of its natural habitat, toward higher grounds and isolated peninsulas, as far as possible from civilization without actually dropping into the Indian Ocean.

Then in 1883, there was a massive volcanic eruption. Afterwards, as the land began to recover, Javan rhinos — under heavy threat elsewhere on the island — re-colonized. Humans never returned in large numbers, so to this day Ujung Kulon remains a safe haven for the rhino.

krakatou-volcano

Krakatou volcano

Yet where it was once a lifeline for Javans, an eruption now ,could prove catastrophic. There are only approximately 60 of them left.

“It’s never a good idea to keep all eggs in the one basket”, Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF)confirmed.

“Everyone is convinced of the need for a second site, so we can translocate a subset of the current population.” This way, numbers can be raised, the gene pool extended and the future of the Javan rhino secured. Especially since Ujung Kulon has its limits.

javan-indonesia-tourism

Javan rhino caught on camera trap, photo: Indonesia tourism.com

from Mongabay: The Javan rhino: protected and threatened by a volcano

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Which is Your Favorite Rhino?

rhino sizes 45 species of rhinos used to exist in the world, dating back 50 million years. Today there are 5 remaining species. They are all endangered.

Indian Rhino

Indian or Greater one-horned Rhino

The largest is the Indian or Greater one-horned Rhino.  Living in India and Nepal, they are the “big guys”  in the Asian group, rivaling only the White Rhino for size; about 2 meters high and weighing in at 1800 to 2700 kg. They live near bodies of water, and are actually very good swimmers and can run up to 40mph (64 km) Both species of Asian rhinos use their incisors, not their horns, to defend themselves.

Javan Rhino

Javan Rhino

The Javan (or lesser one-horned rhino) is the “little brother” of the Asian rhinos. They are 1.4-1.7 meters high, weighing in at 900-2300kg, similar in size to the Black Rhinos of Africa. There are only approximately 37-44 left in Indonesia. They are the least vocal of the 5 species, and highly dependent on the forests for their survival.

black rhino 3

Black Rhino

Black rhinos are one of two species found in Africa, they are the slighter smaller, shyer and more aggressive than the White Rhinos. They are approximately 1.6 meters tall, the males weigh in at 1350 kg, while the females are about 900kg. They can be quick- running up to 34mph (55km) an hour. Like their White cousin, they are often seen with Oxpeckers on them; the birds remove ticks and parasites, helping keep them clean.

White Rhino

White Rhino

White Rhinos are the “big guys” on the African savanna, 1.5-1.8 meters high, they weigh in at 1800-3000 kg. They are distinct from the black rhinos, as they have a square head, which is lower to the ground. Unlike  other rhino species, they do not have a prehensile hooked lip for browsing and picking at bushes and branches,  instead they are built for grazing. They are the more docile of the two African species.

Sumatran Rhino

Sumatran Rhino (by: Johannes Pfleiderer)

Sumatrans have been on earth longer than any living mammal, but sadly there are less than 100 left. Living in parts of Borneo and Sumatra, they are the smallest of all the rhino species (1-1.5 meters high, weighing just 600-950kg). They have a unique reddish-brown coloring, with bristly hair. They are the most vocal of all rhinos, and quite agile, able to climb mountains and maneuver steep riverbanks.

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Did you know??

Rhinos sleep standing up.

Rhinos sleep standing up.

*Rhinos are distantly related to the horse

*The White Rhinos is the largest, weighing up to 5000lbs,
the Sumatran is the smallest, weighing “just” 1750lbs.

*Rhinos roll in the mud so they don’t get sunburned

*Rhino dung piles reach up to 3ft. high

*The Javan Rhino is the rarest land mammal

*The longest horn was from a White Rhino, it measured just shy of 60 inches.

*Rhino pregnancies last 15-16 months

*Rhinos have poor eyesight

*Rhinos can live 40-45 years

*The birds, called oxpeckers, that “hang out” on rhinos, eat ticks and warn of danger

*A group of rhinos is called a Crash

*They can run up to 40 miles per hour

*The Swahili word for rhino is KIFARU (key-far-oo)

*Research shows the process in which rhino horns form and repair themselves could teach auto makers how to create more impact resistant bumpers.

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