Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Javan Rhinoceros

Javan Rhino caught on camera trap
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Mammalia
Order : Perissodactyla
Family : Rhinocerotidae
Genus : Rhinoceros
Species : sondaicus

Length : 6-11.5ft (1.8-3.5m)
Weight : 2,000-5,000lbs (900-2,250kg)

IUCN Status : Critically Endangered

The Javan Rhinoceros is perhaps the rarest large mammal in the entire world. There have been no individuals in captivity for over 100 years, and less than 60 living in the wild. These remaining Rhinos are found in two protected parks, Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia, and Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam.

These Rhinos are so rare and solitary that scientists are only able to study them through fecal matter and through videos caught by camera traps. Just yesterday a report was released by WWF-Indonesia stating that they had gotten footage of a handful of Rhinos this past November and December, including images of a calf. These images provide some hope, as they demonstrate that the breeding population is viable.

Javan Rhinoceros Browsing
One major threat to the Javan Rhinoceros is poaching. In China, their horns are used in traditional medicines and catch fetch prices as high as $30,000 a piece. Last year one of the few remaining Rhinos was lost to poaching, despite strict measures to guard and protect them.

Javan Rhinos feed by browsing. They even have a long upper lip that helps them to grasp and tear at branches. In regards to other anatomical information, their bodies are covered with skin that folds in a way that looks like they are covered in plates of armor.

Javan Rhinoceroses can live 30-45 years, though the oldest in captivity only made it to 20.

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