The Javan Rhinoceros researched by Vincent Jansen Van Rensburg
JAVANRHINOCEROS By Vincent Jansen van Rensburg
What do they look like? The Javan rhino is smaller than the Indian rhinoceros, and is close in size to the black rhino. The body length of the Javan rhino can be up to 2-4 metres in length and 1.4-1.7 metres in height. Adults can weigh between 900 and 2,300 kilograms. It has a single horn usually less than20cm.It has no hair with splotchy gray or gray- brown skin. Its floppy skin hangs over its shoulders by the sides of its belly and its hind legs which looks like amour.
How many are left? There are believed to be fewer than 50 Javan rhinos left in the wild worldwide, and the last rhino remaining in Vietnam was found dead in 2010 – probably the victim of poachers who had cut off its horn. Rhino poaching appears to be on the increase worldwide, and Traffic, the global wildlife trade monitoring network, said the increase in the illegal trade in rhino horns was being caused by demands from Asian medicinal markets. The Javan rhinoceros thus no longer exists on mainland Asia, and is now only to be found in the westernmost parts of Java itself.
Where does it live? Where can it befound? Javan rhinos are found only in one place in the world it is the, Ujung Kulon national park on the western tip of java. The animal was once widespread from Assam and Bengal. eastward spread Myanmar.
What does the rhino’s habitat looklike? The rhino lives in dense, low land rainforests, tall grass and reed beds that have lots of rivers, large floodplains or wet areas with many mud wallows. They usually like low lying areas, but in Vietnam they have been forced to much higher ground probably because of humans getting closer and poaching.
What does the rhino eat? The Javan rhino is a herbivore which eats plants. They eat a diverse variety of plants especially their shoots, twigs, young foliage and fallen fruit. Most of the plants grow in sunny areas in forest clearings. The rhino knocks down saplings and grabs it with its upper lip. The rhino eats an estimated 50 kg of food daily. Like the Sumatran rhino it needs salt in its diet.
How many babies does it have at atime? Javan rhinos have 1 baby at a time. The gestation period is 16-19 months.
What are its threats? Poaching is their biggest threat and it is not threatened by other animals. Loss of habitat has also contributed to the decline of the species in the past, but is not a factor at present since they are kept in one nationally protected park.
What is their behaviour? The Javan rhino is a solitary animal with the exception of breeding pairs and mothers with calves. They will sometime come together in small groups at salt licks and mud wallows. Wallowing in mud is a common behaviour for all rhinos. They wallow in mud to keep cool and helps to prevent illness and parasites. The Javan rhino likes to use other animals mud wallows. The Javan rhino is afraid of people and often hides in the dense forest.
Are they being protected and how? It is illegal to sell the rhino or any products made from the rhino They are only kept in one place at present (Ujong Kulon National Park) and conserving them seems unlikely because of illness and inbreeding.
Why do people poach rhinos? Because the horn of any rhino is worth a lot of money, and can be used as trophy’s. Chinese think it is a good healing medicine and think it cures fever and cancer.
Interesting facts The Javan rhino has a life span of around 37-45 years It weighs 900 – 2300kg’s It has a horn 10 inches long (this is only for the males; female rhino have little or no horn) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FMx23g60YI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHqhzxF2pRM&fea
Bibliography Information obtained from the following websites: Wikipedia BBCNews Google maps Google images