Join our zoo community

sumatran/javan rhinos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by jay, 22 Jun 2006.

  1. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    1,907
    Location:
    brisbane, qld, australia
    I thought I would start a new thread with regards to these two EXTREMELy endangered species. It's not really a zoo topic but relates quite well to a couple of other threads.

    Pats comments on the sumatran rhinos are very relevant and interesting, especially with regards to my comments on the relevance of breeding emi, the sumatran rhino at cincinatti.

    From what I have read there is very little hope for the sumatran in the wild. Most wild populations consist of, at most, 20 or so animals. The majority are smaller. They are isolated from each other and to make matters worse, the population on Borneo seem to be distinctly different from the rest that they could be regarded as a sub species.

    Hunting and clearing of rainforest continues to endanger this species.

    The Javans, though thepopulation is only at 80 or so animals could be said to be ina better positions. They are all together and fiercly protected.
    However they may have been endangered by the tsunami in 2004. I haven't read anything about what effect that that had.

    There was talk that the javan rhino national park (sorry can't remember its name) was full, not enough room for an expanding population. Someone suggested that an outlying ilsland provided plenty of suitable habitat and that a group of a dozen or so animals should be moved there. Any one heard about this? Is this a goer?

    Jay
     
  2. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Nov 2004
    Posts:
    2,449
    Location:
    melbourne, victoria, australia
    hmm. not sure jay. have heard conflicing info on this myself some say the javan national park is full - others say it has room to almost double the population. the good thing is that after many years of stagnation, the population has started breeding again in recent years.

    i know of the two western/eastern subspecies of sumatran rhino. but didn't bother bringing it up earlier since it was just confusing things more. my beliefs are that they should keep the two poulations seperate....for now.
    it may become evident in the future that lack of diversity especially in the bornean race which i believe is smaller will require a bit of cross-breeding. its a shame, but whatever saves the species. for now at least - all attempts should be to keep the two seperate and if the problem arises in the long term, well cross that bridge when we come to it.
    a similar situation has arisen with the javan rhino's that where recently discovered in vietnam. with maybe only as few as 5 animals or less, one scientist ruled out introducing javans to vietnam (can you imagine how unlikely, difficult and controversial that would be anyway!) as the two subspecies where so distinct they couldn't interbreed.
    personally, by that definition, that makes them different species and i can't see how just by looking at them one can declare them that!

    nonetheless - i defibnately wouldn't advise sending javans to the wilds of land-mine infested veitnam. instead, since the population is so tiny and virtually unsalvageable id'e do intense tracking and population analysis to see if there are any reproductively viable animals, dart them draw blood, radio collars, DNA tests the works. if the have a couple of breeders then i say catch them and build a breeding center in the park. non-breeders - save their DNA......might come in handy down the track.
     
  3. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 May 2005
    Posts:
    3,509
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    There was some take about moving some of the Javans out to another park in Java because they are running out of room for them in their current park.
     
  4. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Nov 2004
    Posts:
    2,449
    Location:
    melbourne, victoria, australia
    sumatran rhino breeding centers....

    since the death of the seven rhinos at Sungai Dusun Sumatran Rhino Conservation Centre there are, i believe just two breeding centers left in the world. they are..

    The Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way kambas National Park, Sumatra houses four eastern sumatran rhino and hopefully soon a fifth with plans to move andalas there from the LA zoo. the other rhino are..

    Torgamba, male arrived from Port Lympne Zoo, UK in 98.
    Bina, female arrived from Taman Safari Indonesia, in 98.

    and two recently arrived young females who were rescued after wandering into villages in 2005. they are..

    Rosa, from the Bukit Barisan Selatan (BBS) National Park.
    Ratu, from Way Kambas National Park.

    andalas will be a great asset to the program.

    also in malaysia at...

    The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, near Sandakan, Borneo
    are two western sumatran rhino...

    Tanjung, male, 15 years old
    Gelugob, female, 25 years old

    no luck breeding them as yet either.....
     
  5. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 May 2005
    Posts:
    3,509
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    A real captive breeding attempt should have been made years ago with these two animal species instead of letting them full down to such small numbers as they are now, also there should of been a captive breeding attempt done with the Javan Tiger which as we know is now extinct, I dont recall any zoo any where even trying breeding these tigers, maybe some of you do know if someone had?. as i understand it they were still lingering around in low numbers in the 1970s.
     
  6. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    736
    Location:
    Wellington , New Zealand
    Rhinos in national park

    There is a rhino breeding project within the Endau Ropin Conservation area in Malaysia , but off hand I cannot recall which species of rhino . But I do know that it is a fairly endangered species that they are concentrating on .
    I have been to Malaysia , but not to Endau Ropin , mainly due to transport logistics issues .
    As Malaysia is the closest neighbour to ( most of ) Indonesia , I wonder if there cannot be a combined multi national effort in the conservation issue ? There are certainly no land mines in Malaysia , and the geography of both countries are similar . There is certainly heaps of land inward from East Coast of Mainland Malaysia , not to mention in the Borneo states ......
     
  7. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 May 2005
    Posts:
    3,509
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Yeah Nigel, I know about the breeding centres for the Sumatran rhinos in Asia but what I meant was that this should of happened a good few years before they did get off the ground, maybe this would of given us a good headstart.
    The Javan tiger was my case in point, a breeding program may of saved them.
     
  8. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Nov 2004
    Posts:
    2,449
    Location:
    melbourne, victoria, australia
    melbourne zoo once house javan tigers - as adelaide once housed a javan rhino....shame hey?

    nigel, any info you can get on this "Endau Ropin Conservation area" would be great - i would edit my above text to give us a more precise list of where the sumatrans are (they will be sumatran here, there are no javans in captivity or in this area).
     
  9. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 May 2005
    Posts:
    3,509
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Wow Javan Tigers, what year would that of been Pat, Do the records show they were imported from Java?.
     
  10. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Nov 2004
    Posts:
    2,449
    Location:
    melbourne, victoria, australia
    i haven't heard anything of the "endau ropin conservation area" but i can assure you that if it had a rhino captive breeding project - or even any rhino living wild in the area - then tehy where most definately sumatran rhino, since the javans are believed extinct throught their entire former range on the mainland and sumatra (except for those few in vietnam).

    however, though it isn't proven, i find it unusual that sumatrans have managed to hold out in so many places (albeit scattered, fragmented and in tiny super endangered populations) and that javans have died out though all of eastern india, laos, burma, cambodia, thailand, malaysia and the indonesian island of sumatra. surely, if they can survive undetected in a tiny pocket of forest in land-mine and agent orange infested vietnam, then there must be a few still strolling around up in the jungled hills of laos or myannmar?

    someones just gotta find em.... i nominate Zoo_Boy!
     
  11. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 May 2005
    Posts:
    3,509
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    There have been a few reports over the years about Javan Rhinos roaming around in the jungles in parts of asia, parts of Thailand were one of them,I agree with you I would not be to surprised to find a few more lingering around somewhere in the back blocks of SE asia. In regards to the Sumatrans hanging on in parts of asia after the Javans having become extinct, from what I have been told the Sumatrans tend to in habit more hilly and mountain country (which had less people) where the Javans tend to inhabit more of the lowland country where they encounter many more humans (unluckly for them), In fact in the National park where they live on the western tip of Java thy have even been seen swimming in the sea.
     
  12. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    26 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    1,462
    Location:
    Australia
    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so whos gonna pay for my trip? but yea i totally agree, there has to be small pockets somewhere. also if the sumatrans are surrviving in small pop's does tht mean they would be inbreed somewhere along the line?
     
  13. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Nov 2004
    Posts:
    2,449
    Location:
    melbourne, victoria, australia
    yep, good one mark, that would make for a very logical explaination as to why sumatrans have fair better (though hardly by much!) than javans.

    i am particuarly facinated by sumatran rhino - unlike javan's (who are essentially a small forest variety of indian rhino) sumatrans have all these unusual features - two horns, hairy coat, those skin folds so charictaristic of the asian species.

    wild orangutans and (i'll settle for captive) sumatran rhinos are the next on my list of animals i have to see. i'm heading to borneo in december and i'll be sure to take lots of photos (to post here) of the rhino at sepilok :)
     
  14. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 May 2005
    Posts:
    3,509
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Yes Pat I know where your coming from, my high-light of zoo going was meeting the two Sumatran rhinos at Port Lympne, to get to meet them alone (off exhibit) in their barn only with the head mammal keeper was unreal, patting them,sratching them behind their ears, having them muzzle me like huge dogs is just mind blowing stuff for me. I even got to give them some food. It got to a point with me that I was going to go to Sumatra to find them, at that time there were none captive anywhere, So in the end when i heard about these two at PL, I just had to go there.
     
  15. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Sep 2005
    Posts:
    1,126
    Location:
    Sunny Singapore
    Make time for the proboscis monkeys too, another Borneo rarity. Borneo is truly one of the last great wild paces left on the planet.
     
  16. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Nov 2004
    Posts:
    2,449
    Location:
    melbourne, victoria, australia
    yeah - for sure zooish! will do.

    i'm still yet to see a big cat in the wild, never saw a tiger in india, no leopards in sri lanka and not a single jaguar or puma in sth america. personally i think this has happend because mother nature is going to reward me with a bornean clouded leopard!

    don't try and burst my bubble either. its goanna happen....
     
  17. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Nov 2004
    Posts:
    2,449
    Location:
    melbourne, victoria, australia
    oh and according to that masterpiece of film making "anacondas" (and if you haven't seen it - don't!)

    there are not only the south american giant snakes found in borneo but tigers, macaws and capuchin monkeys as well!
     
    Last edited: 29 Jun 2006
  18. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    18,241
    Location:
    england
    sumatran rhinos

    I can add a bit more info to this;

    At Way Kambas, Torgamba is in poor health(kidney problems?)- they think this may be one reason why no successful mating- though copulations with Bina have occurred for several years now. As you know, Andalas will be sent from USA as a breeding male- probably with the two new females Rosa & Ratu.. I also heard they are considering sending the older female Bina to Cincinnati Zoo to try and breed her with Andalas' father Ipuh.

    At Cincinnati- Emi is pregnant for the third time. She must be about halfway now and they say ulra-sound shows this new calf will be another male.

    Sepilok- Tanjung & Gelugob, the only captives of the western 'harrisoni' subspecies- no further developments.

    Javan rhino- Vietnam population-2-7 animals, but its thought there may be no adult male at all.
    Javan population in Udjong Kulon sanctuary-sign has been seen recently of up to four calves(one seen)

    Adelaide zoo Javan rhino- can you tell me which years they exhibited this species- was it only one animal or more? I recently saw a very old postcard of this species at Adelaide zoo
     
  19. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    18,241
    Location:
    england
    Sumatran Rhino.

    It took me many many years to get to see a Sumatran rhino 'live' There used to be one(a female 'Subur') in Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark in the 1960'/70's but I never saw her. Then later I was at the Bangkok zoo in Thailand where there was one- but it had died just before my visit- I saw its empty enclosure! Finally I met up with 'Torgamba' at Port Lympne- had a similar experience to yours- fed him, touched him etc, what an amazing experience. Saw him several times in fact. These are the strangest, most prehistoric creatures- quite unlike the four other living rhino species. Even Port Lympne failed to breed them though- both the females they received were probably past breeding age. Torgamba -the male, was the last survivor until he was sent back to Way Kambas. Unfortunately he still hasn't bred successfully and latest reports indicate he has health problems. He is probably getting on in years now as well. The only Sumatran rhino from all those captured whose age they knew roughly was Cincinnat's Emi as she wasn't fully grown on capture- very fortunate to get such a young animal and she has proved it in Cincinatti- her third calf is on the way.
     
  20. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    736
    Location:
    Wellington , New Zealand
    Sepilok

    I was disappointed that the rhinos were " not available for viewing " on the day that I visited there , but I got the impression from the staff that they are there for display purposes only , and the main aim of the centre is to work on rehabilitating primates . ( Which they appear to do reasonambly successfully )
    The rhinos dont really feature much on the sanctuaries radar .