Thursday, February 2, 2012

8 things you should know about the Borneo Sumatran rhino

The smallest of all
The Borneo Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrison) is a sub-species of the Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). It is the smallest of five living species, standing at about 145cm (4 feet 9 inches) and measuring 3m and 17cm (10 feet 5 inches) in length. It weighs between 500kg and 1,000kg. It can live up to about 30 years.
Puntung, a young female Borneo Sumatran rhino which is thought to be between 20 and 30 years old.
 Puntung, a young female Borneo Sumatran rhino which is thought to be between 20 and 30 years old.
Unique to Borneo
The Sumatran rhinos are found in Indonesia's Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, southern Thailand and on Borneo island. But the Borneon sub-species lives only on Borneo island. It is one of three species with two horns and is the only one in Asia. Two other Asian rhino species, the Indian and the Javan, have one horn. The White and Black African rhinos have two horns. The Sumatran rhino and its Borneon cousin have a front horn of between 25cm and 79cm long and a smaller one which is shorter than 10cm.
They have reddish brown hair which gives them the nickname of "hairy rhino".
Facing extinction
Puntung, the female rhino, waiting to mate with Tam.
Puntung, the female rhino, waiting to mate with Tam.
Man is their greatest enemy
Rhino horns can fetch up to half a million dollars each.Rhino horns can fetch up to half a million dollars each.
Rhinos are herbivores, eating plants and fruits. They have few predators: big cats, crocodiles, wild dogs and hyena prey on young rhinos. But man is their biggest enemy and is blamed for the drastic drop in their numbers. They are poached relentlessly for their horns which are wrongly thought to be an aphrodisiac and life-saving medicine in traditional Chinese herbal remedies. They are often used to treat fever and convulsion. But scientists say that rhino horns, which contain keratin, a protein found in human skin, hair and nails, do not have any such medicinal cures. Britain's Independent newspaper reported in August that the price of a single rhino horn reached half a million dollars, with its value per kilo exceeding that of cocaine. Poaching of the mammals has reached new peaks.
Logging and turning forest into oil palms are also blamed for the destruction of rhinos.
Rhinos can no longer breed in the wild
Finding a mate in the wild is tough.Finding a mate in the wild is tough.
Because of their dwindling numbers, the Borneo Sumatran rhinos have little chance of breeding in the wild. Many of them are also too old to mate.
Tam, the male rhino, has been waiting
Tam, ever ready to mate.Tam, ever ready to mate.
Tam is said to be a middle-aged Borneo Sumatran rhino. His exact age is not known but wildlife officials say he may be older than 20 years, about the same age of Puntung or older. It is the right age to mate, they say. His first mate was too old to reproduce. She was among another female and eight male rhinos which were caught between 1984 and 1994 for a captive breeding programme in Sabah that was scuttled by non-government groups. She is the only survivor. The rest have died.
Failed captive breeding programme
Sumatran rhinos in the Cincinnati zoo in Cincinnati, Ohio.Sumatran rhinos in the Cincinnati zoo in Cincinnati, Ohio.
An attempt in 1984 to breed the Borneo Sumatran rhinos in captivity under a scheme brokered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) failed. The Sabah government abandoned the programme after Malaysian NGOs said they feared the rhinos would end up in American zoos.
An offshoot of the programme was that the Sabah government created the 1,225-sq-km Tabin Wildlife Reserve which now houses a 20-hectare fenced Borneo Rhino Sanctuary which is making a last ditch attempt to breed rhinos in captivity.
A 438-sq-km Danum Valley Conservation Area adjacent to Tabin was also created.
The Borneo Rhino Sanctuary
In 2009 the Sabah government and the Sime Darby Foundation announced the setting up of a sanctuary to protect the few remaining Borneo Sumatran rhinos and other wild animals such as the pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, clouded leopards, wild cattles and hornbills. It occupies 4,500 hectares in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, with Sime Darby pledging to fund it to the tune of 7.3m ringgit ($2.3m). About 20 hectares of the fenced up area is now known as the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary and attempt is now made to breed rhinos there. Oil palm companies, the WWF in Malaysia and Germany and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have pledged to save the Borneo rhinos. The sanctuary is seen as a last ditch attempt to breed rhinos in captivity to save them from extinction.

Source: http://insightsabah.gov.my/article/read/1649

Green Sabah says: This is a good information from Insight Sabah regarding the 8 things we should know about Sumatran Rhinos and why we should conserve them. 

13 comments:

antap said...

dgn ini, kita tahu mengenai ciri2 dan keadaan badak sumatra yang mengalami kepupusan. harap ada kesedaran untuk kita melindunginya.

DorianG said...

very informative.

DorianG said...

Hopefully all will play their part not only to conserve, but also to protect all endangers species that are unique to Sabah

Kris Jr said...

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

Kris Jr said...

They are now critically endangered, with only six substantial populations in the wild: four on Sumatra, one on Borneo, and one in the Malay Peninsula. 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 275.

Anak Sabah said...

Ini maklumat yang sangat baik untuk membantu kita lebih mengenali Badak Sumbu Sumatera ini. Teruskan usaha memaparkan maklumat seperti ini.

Anak Sabah said...

Diharapkan Sabah mampu membantu badak sumbu Sumatera ini untuk membiak supaya boleh melindungi spesis ini daripada pupus.

Saya orang Sabah bah!! said...

Pembangunan dilakukan rasanya tidak ada salahnya namun perlulah ada juga kawasan yang perlu dijaga bagi hidupan seperti ini.

rebirth said...

I'm not worried with our future Rhinos since we have a government and NGO who really playing they role in order to protect our Borneo Sumatran Rhinos....

me gusta said...

Glad to know that our government is serious in protecting the endangered species and many NGOs become volunteers.

me gusta said...

Thank you for sharing this info.

Mohd Ishak said...

Harap Tam dan Puntung boleh membiak dengan lancar supaya boleh menambah populasi spesis Badak Sumbu Borneo ini.

Mohd Ishak said...

Undang-undang yang tegas perlulah dilaksanakan untuk mengharamkan pemburuan Haiwan terlindung di mana-mana negara kerana ini boleh menyebabkan sesetengah spesis semakin pupus.

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