Why is the JAVA RHINO Endangered - Causes

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The number of animals that are threatened continues to increase as the years progress. Perhaps some species are better known than others, but all are just as important in order to keep ecosystems in balance. The loss of biodiversity is a reality and one more consequence, caused by human activity.

In this Green Ecologist article we will have the Java rhinoceros as the protagonist, since this species is part of the list of threatened animals, being considered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the category of critical danger of extinction (CR). If you want to know more about this species of rhinoceros, do not stop reading this interesting article about why is the java rhino in danger of extinction.

Java rhinoceros: characteristics

The java rhino, Rhinoceros sonicus it's found seriously threatened, remaining approximately 67 copies that survive in Java (Indonesia), in the Ujung Kulon National Park. The population is highly fragmented and continues to decline. They are solitary animals that lived in the depths of the jungle and, in fact, it has been a poorly studied species because its location is difficult. Much of the information we have on this species of rhinoceros is due to the study of their feces, photographs or specimens found in zoos and museums. These are some of the characteristics of the java rhinoceros:

  • As for its diet, it is a herbivorous animal.
  • Their life expectancy can be up to 50 years.
  • Physically this species has a thick grayish skin with marked folds that give the skin an appearance that seems to be arranged in plates or pieces.
  • We are talking about a large mammal, since its weight ranges between 800 kilos and approximately 2 and a half tons, and they can have a height of up to 2 meters.
  • The females are usually slightly larger than the males.
  • The main characteristic of this rhinoceros is that it has a frontal horn that could reach 25 centimeters in length.

Why is the Java Rhino in danger of extinction - the causes

According to the IUCN red list the java rhino is critically endangered (CR) since 1996, that is, the risk of the species becoming extinct is very high. The various reasons why this species is in this situation, although the main cause is given by the great demand for its horn. The different causes of why the java rhino is endangered:

Poaching the Java Rhinoceros

The Javanese rhino was found over a larger area, on the islands of Sumatra and Java, Southeast Asia, western India, and northern China. Currently it can only be found on the island of Java, in the Ujung Kulon National Park. This species has been highly persecuted by poachers, since its frontal horn is in high demand, especially in Asia to use it for medicinal purposes. Traditional Asian medicine uses the powdered horn of the rhinoceros to treat illnesses such as fever, it is even used as a treatment for cancer patients. This has been the main reason, which has made this species almost disappear. He is currently protected, but is still a victim of illegal hunting.

In these other Green Ecologist articles you can learn about the causes and consequences of poaching animals and how to avoid poaching animals.

Loss of genetic diversity

The remaining population of rhinos is approximately 67 specimens, this makes genetic diversity very small. In addition, the Javanese rhino has a life expectancy of 50 years, so many of them cannot even reproduce when they are old.

Loss of habitat for the Javan rhino

The felling of trees or deforestation to harvest the wood, as well as agricultural activities for the intensive cultivation of rice, without leaving behind the increase in the human population and how it has expanded. He ended up altering the territory through which this species was distributed, confining it to a small area of the island of Java.

Learn more about the Destruction of the environment and habitat, its causes and consequences with this other article.

Tsunami risk

On the island of Java there is great seismic activity, in fact, just a year and a half ago, the Anak Krakatoa volcano located in Indonesia, near the island of Java, erupted causing a tsunami. This natural catastrophe not only killed thousands of people, but also posed a risk to the endangered and endemic species that survive in Ujung Kulon National Park, including the Javanese rhinoceros. Despite the fact that the rhino population was not affected, the volcano is still active and there are fears that another catastrophe could occur in which the rhinoceros will not be so lucky.

How to Help the Java Rhino

There are several proposals and measures that are being taken to try to conserve the species. Here we mention some of the ideas that respond to how to help java rhino:

  • Environmental legislation: In all the states that are part of the range, the Javanese rhinoceros has been legally protected since 1975.
  • Ranger training: To avoid illegal hunting, professionals will be trained to ensure the safety of rhinos. In addition to providing them with tools so that they can have the animals controlled and monitor them (microchips, GPS, etc.).
  • Reintroduction / translocation programs: create new conservation areas, the territory must be enabled, so that the animal can reproduce, as well as feed. Ecological corridors are essential for them to move from one area to another, since moving a rhinoceros from one place to another is not an easy task.

Of course, on a personal level we can, for example, help reduce the destruction of their habitat by not buying products that leave that area illegally, without all the permits. Likewise, if we visit the area, we must avoid direct contact with wild animals, we must not soil or damage the natural environment and if we see or know of cases of related infractions we can report them to the police. Another option is to collaborate with associations dedicated to this species or that work in its habitat, either as active volunteers or only with financial support. We recommend you read this other article on Why it is important to protect endangered animals.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why is the Javan rhino in danger of extinctionWe recommend that you enter our category of Endangered Animals.

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